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Lewandowski stages one-man nation routine with aplomb against England

The Poland striker has the most thankless job in international football but earned redemption after creating the equaliser

The second most thankless job in international football is trying to steer England through a mediocre qualifying group. Draws are a humiliation, defeats a disgrace. Wins are either “dreary” or “routine”. If you won narrowly, you were dour and unimpressive; if you won easily, then you can’t read too much into it anyway because of the weakness of the opposition. In a way this is one of those rare scenarios in which neither the process nor the outcome really matters. You are dullards by default; reassessments take place every two years. Next.

So it was here for England, who in succumbing to an injury-time equaliser against Poland neither exceeded expectations nor violated them. The opening strike by Harry Kane was delightful; the patience commendable; the movement and energy impressive enough; the defending for Damian Szymanski’s 92nd-minute header shambolic.

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