In his final game for the national team, former captain Jakub Blaszczykowski was honoured as Poland paid tribute and emerged victorious with a 1-0 win over Germany. Jakub Kiwior scored the only goal, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny put on an impressive display, frustrating Germany’s attacking efforts. Germany’s struggles persisted as they faced another disappointment, lacking confidence after three consecutive winless friendly matches.
Read More: France beat Gibraltar 3-0 in Euro qualifiers
Since their World Cup group stage exit, Germany has only managed to defeat Peru and is in dire need of improvement before hosting the European Championship next year.
Blaszczykowski, who represented Poland in 109 matches, was visibly emotional as he left the field in the 16th minute, which coincided with his jersey number, receiving applause from teammates and the home crowd.
Having enjoyed a successful club career in Germany, particularly winning two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, Blaszczykowski’s contribution was notable.
Germany’s coach, Flick, made several changes to the team that had a narrow 3-3 draw against Ukraine earlier in the week. Marc-Andre ter Stegen started in goal, and Malick Thiaw made his national team debut in defense. Other players such as Thilo Kehrer, Jonas Hofmann, Benjamin Henrichs, Emre Can, Florian Wirtz, Kai Havertz, and Jamal Musiala were also given starting positions, resulting in a total of nine alterations. Thiaw’s inclusion further added to the unfamiliar defensive lineup.
Although individual performances, including Thiaw’s, were commendable, Flick’s extensive changes seemed to increase uncertainty among the players, potentially undermining his own decisions.
Despite dominating possession, Germany struggled to break through Poland’s diligent defense. Attempts from Kehrer and Havertz from long range were successfully dealt with by Szczesny. However, Kiwior finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with a headed goal from a corner, giving Poland a commanding position by the end of the first half.
At halftime, Flick made another substitution, replacing Hofmann with Robin Gosens. Nevertheless, it was Havertz who came closest to scoring again, only to be denied by Szczesny once more.
Szczesny continued to make crucial saves, frustrating efforts from Gosens, Thiaw, as well as late substitutes Marius Wolf and Leon Goretzka.