When John Stones gave the ball away to concede an equalizer, Harry Maguire was fast to reassure his England central defensive accomplice.
“Hold going,” Maguire recalled saying, “and we are going to get the win.”
And they also did towards Poland — with Stones redeeming himself.
It was the Manchester Metropolis defender’s header that saved a nook from Kalvin Phillips in play and reached Maguire, who volleyed into the roof of the online to seal a 2-1 victory on Wednesday. It gave Gareth Southgate’s Group I leaders a 3rd successive victory in every week to start out qualifying for subsequent 12 months’s World Cup in Qatar.
“We’re defenders — we at all times make errors,” Maguire stated. “We don’t like errors. Typically we’re at fault for targets.”
And England ought to have scored extra in a dominant first half — quite than counting on Raheem Sterling being fouled by Michał Helik for captain Harry Kane to attain his 34th aim for England within the 19th minute.
However the ineffective guests got a route again into the sport when Stones dithered in possession on the sting of the England penalty space beneath strain from Jakub Moder. Stones gave the ball away to Arkadiusz Milik who returned it to Moder to web the equalizer within the 58th minute.
It was the primary shot on track confronted by England in its three qualifiers and the primary aim Nick Pope had conceded in his seven video games in England’s aim. But it surely was Pope enjoying the ball brief to Stones that contributed to the blunder.
“John has made a bit blip tonight however he’ll come again robust,” Maguire stated. “He’s in nice kind for membership, he’s in nice kind for nation.
“It was a very good efficiency from him to come back again robust within the response that he made and to get the help is essential for the staff.”
Gifted a leveler, Poland progressively appeared extra of a menace — even with out the injured Robert Lewandowski. Southgate had nonetheless made no adjustments to his aspect as the sport reached the 85th minute — and it paid off thanks partially to Stones.
“He’s managed to compose himself for the remainder of the sport and had a component within the profitable aim which is essential,” Southgate stated. “You possibly can fold in these moments and he didn’t.”
It was the final probability for Southgate to evaluate his gamers earlier than deciding on a squad for the rescheduled European Championship. And when England performs its opener towards Croatia on June 13, at the very least 10,000 followers must be allowed again into Wembley Stadium with the pandemic restrictions lifted.
Whereas England gamers took the knee earlier than kickoff, their Polish counterparts didn’t carry out the anti-racism gesture — as a substitute pointing to the UEFA respect badge on their jerseys.
Hungary stays two factors behind England in second place after Attila Fiola, Daniel Gazdag, Laszlo Kleinheisler and Loic Nego scored in a Four-1 win at Andorra within the pursuit of the one computerized qualification place.
Albania rose above Poland into third place after Rey Manaj and Myrto Uzuni clinched a 2-Zero victory over San Marino, which is on zero factors with Andorra.