Football: Poland draw 1-1 with Italy in new Nations League
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland on Friday drew 1-1 with Italy in their first match in the new UEFA Nations League.
Poland players celebrate after pulling 1-0 ahead of Italy. Photo: EPA/GIORGIO BENVENUTI
In the 40th minute, Piotr Zieliński met a cross from Poland captain Robert Lewandowski with a textbook volley, giving the Italian goalie no chance.
Jorginho equalised for Italy 12 minutes from the end with a penalty.
The match, at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara in Bologna, was a promising debut by Jerzy Brzęczek as manager of the Polish national squad. He took over after Poland’s early exit from the World Cup in Russia.
Poland were in January drawn to play Italy and Portugal in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League, a new competitive football format designed to replace most international friendlies in Europe.
European nations were arranged into four Leagues, A, B, C and D, based on their UEFA ranking at the time.
Poland play Italy and Portugal at home and away in Group 3 of the top League A. The winner of the group will advance to the Nations League finals in June next year along with the winners of three other League A groups, while the loser will be relegated to League B.
The Nations League offers an alternative path for teams to qualify for the Euro 2020 championships.
Source: Polish Radio/PAP