Poland qualified for a second successive FIFA World Cup after brushing aside Sweden in their play-off final in Chorzow.
There were few chances in a cagey first half, although Sweden’s Emil Forsberg was denied by Wojciech Szczęsny and Matty Cash shot wide at the other end.
Grzegorz Krychowiak was introduced at the interval and made an instant impact as he was fouled in the area by Jesper Karlström, and Robert Lewandowski made no mistake from the spot.
Sweden pushed for an equaliser and Szczęsny denied Forsberg again before Piotr Zieliński took advantage of a mistake at the back to double the home lead.
There could have been more goals for the hosts but Robin Olsen saved well from powerful Jan Bednarek and Lewandowski headers.
Robert Lewandowski consoles Sweden captain Victor LindelöfGetty Images
Robert Lewandowski, Poland striker, speaking to UEFA.com: “We have had many problems before this match. A lot of our players were injured, including me, I had problem with knee. We suffered, but now we can celebrate. I am proud and happy.”
Czesław Michniewicz, Poland coach, speaking to UEFA.com: “It is special night not only for me, but for the whole of Polish football. Let’s not forget that some of our players have probably their last chance to play in the World Cup finals and I am so happy they will not miss out. A great night, indeed.”
Janne Andersson, Sweden coach, speaking to TV4: “I’m enormously disappointed. This was a match we had within our reach. We created chances but didn’t score. Up until their penalty, we had the match under control. But we simply have to score from our chances.”
Zlatan Ibrahimović, Sweden forward, speaking to TV4: “Everyone is disappointed. That’s normal when losing. Everyone wants to play in the World Cup, but unfortunately that won’t happen.”
- Lewandowski’s penalty was the first goal Poland had scored at home to Sweden, having lost all three previous meetings without scoring.
- A 75th international goal moved the Poland captain joint third on the all-time UEFA international scorers list, level with Sándor Kocsis and behind only Ferenc Puskás (84) and Cristiano Ronaldo (115).
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