Bialkowski's Poland End With Win
Thursday, 28th Jun 2018 17:28
Bartosz Bialkowski’s Poland ended their disappointing World Cup campaign by beating Japan 1-0 in their last Group H match in Volgograd this afternoon with the Town keeper again an unused sub.
The 30-year-old went through the tournament without featuring, Wojciech Szczesny of Juventus playing the first two games and new West Ham signing Lukasz Fabianski today’s final match. Bialkowski had gone to Russia as the third keeper and was always thought unlikely to play.
Bialkowski is the second Town player to travel to a World Cup and not play a minute, George Burley having been part of the Scotland squad in 1982 without making it on to the pitch.
In 1958 John Elsworthy was named in the Wales squad for the finals in Sweden but the FAW couldn't afford to take a full party and the left-half remained behind in the UK.
Left-back Jonas Knudsen is still to play for Denmark at the current finals, his side having made it through to the last 16 in which they will play Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.
Poland’s victory - which ended farcically with neither side showing any attacking endeavour with the scoreline suiting them both - and Colombia’s 1-0 victory over Senegal saw the Japanese and Senegalese finish level on points, goal difference and goals scored with the game between the sides having ended 2-2. Therefore, Japan went through to the last 16 in second place by virtue of having been shown fewer yellow cards (Fair Play points: Japan: -4, Senegal: -6).
England will face Japan in the next round if they finish top of Group G following tonight’s game against Belgium or Colombia if they are second.
Bialkowski is likely to be given a few days off before joining up with the Blues squad, who travel to Spain for a training camp at the Pinatar Arena Football Center, San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia next week following six days’ work at Playford Road.
Photo: Action Images
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