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Poland Ties England 1-1 in Rescheduled World Cup Qualifying Game

Poland came back to tie England 1-1 in their 2014 World Cup qualifying Group H match that was postponed yesterday because of heavy rain in Warsaw.

Wayne Rooney scored off his shoulder in the 31st minute, and the hosts leveled when Kamil Glik headed in from a corner in the 70th minute.

The match was postponed last night because the pitch was waterlogged. The stadium roof, left open during the rain, was closed during today’s match. England retains the lead in the group, with 8 points after four games. Montenegro has 7 points from 3 games, and Poland is third with 5 points from 3 games.

“It’s a decent point but the lads are disappointed,” England captain Steven Gerrard said. “We can play better than that and we should have been able to see the game out.”

Poland controlled the game for much of the second half. Even so, Rooney had a chance to put England 2-0 up, but skied his left-foot shot over the bar in the 69th minute. The tying goal came a minute later when England goalkeeper Joe Hart came out for a corner but failed to get to the ball, allowing Glik to head into the net.

“It’s not one of our better performances,” England coach Roy Hodgson said in a televised interview. “I know the players are disappointed. I’m pleased with the point, because I think we didn’t play well enough to get all three points.”

Elsewhere in European qualifying, Germany lost a four-goal lead for the first time to tie 4-4 with Sweden yesterday, while Spain drew 1-1 with France after surrendering a stoppage-time goal.

Swedish Comeback

Rasmus Elm’s goal capped a Swedish comeback last night in Berlin. It was the only time in its 868 international matches that three-time world champion Germany blew a four-goal advantage, according to the German soccer federation.

Olivier Giroud’s goal gave France a 1-1 draw with world champion Spain. The Netherlands won 4-1 in Romania and Russia beat Azerbaijan 1-0 to remain as the only two European teams with perfect qualifying records.

The winners of each of the nine European groups qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, with the best eight runners-up playing off for the remaining four slots.

Spain looked ready to make it three straight wins after Sergio Ramos’s 25th-minute goal in Madrid. Cesc Fabregas had a penalty kick stopped by Hugo Lloris later in the first half.

Giroud then struck in the fourth added minute to leave the teams even at the top of Group I with seven points. Belarus beat Georgia 2-0 in the other group match.

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