MONTREAL– It was an entertaining 2-2 draw as Poland and Ecuador finished their tour. The game was in the pure soccer confines of Saputo Stadium which holds 13,000. Many supporters and tourists went to both games to watch the Polish National Team play their ‘FRIENDLIES’.
Polish coach Franciszek Smuda said, “Both of our matches on the tour represented a good challenge for us as important preparations for Euro-2012.” Poland will co-host the 2012 European championship with Ukraine. He added, “The Polish community here has been great,” he added. Canada has almost one million people with some Polish heritage.
Poland hit the crossbar after 15 minutes, when Hubert Wolakiewicz struck his shot. Robert Lewandowski was first to the rebound, but was unable to convert his bicycle kick
Christian Benitez gave the South American’s the lead at 31 minutes when he followed up Christian Noboa’s shot from outside the box. Parried by Przemyslaw Tyton into the path of the striker, and put his side ahead.
But Poland did not give up; Ebi Smolarek tapped the ball into the back of the net from a Ludovic Obraniak free-kick.
The Euro 2012 co-hosts then hit the lead with 20 minutes to go in the match when Obraniak latched onto the end of a Kamil Grosicki cross and put the Europeans in front.
But Benitez replied in the 78th minute and scored his second goal of the match when Poland committed a defensive error, which allowed the striker through for a one-on-one against goalkeeper Maximo Banguera.
Michal Zewlakow set a Polish record with his 101st cap with the game against Ecuador. The 34-year-old defender surpassed the former Polish national mark for appearances set by Grzegorz Lato.
"I’m very happy with all my National Team experiences,” said Zewlakow.
Lato, now President of PZPN (the Polish Football Association) gave updates to the Canadien press corp about the preparations for the Euro2012. He was very happy for Zewlakow and bragged about the veteran during his ambassadorial efforts for Polish Soccer.
The Canadien National Team is currently on tour in the Ukraine. The U.S. team had a 0-0 tie against Colombia in Philadelphia. Brad Guzan had the shutout for the U.S. and Eric Lichaj, 21 had quality minutes.
In the Chicago game, 31,696 turned out at Soldier Field as Poland and U.S. Soccer also had a 2-2 tie.
October 14, 2010
(Raymond Rolak covered the soccer tour for the Hawaii Sports Network, Phot by RSN)