The Golden Era of Poland's Soccer Team

MatthewA By MatthewA, 7th Dec 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Sports

Before the 1970s the Poland soccer team had made little impact in the FIFA World Cup. Only once had they qualified, and they had played just the one World Cup game. With Górski as head coach a new golden era emerged from 1972 up to the 1980s.

The Golden Era of Poland's Soccer Team

The golden era of Polish soccer began with Olympic gold in 1972. This team clinched gold with a 2 – 1 victory against Hungary in the final. They had won all but one of several games on their way to Olympic glory.

Poland qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup ahead of England in their qualifying group. When they arrived in West Germany for the tournament, they had yet to win a game in the finals. However, their first victory came against Argentina, as they went two goals up within a period of 10 minutes. Whilst Argentina pulled one back, a third Poland goal in the second half ensured their first victory.

This was the first of three victories in the group stage. The others came against Italy and Haiti that Poland thrashed 7 – 0. As such, Poland topped their group as they went into the second round.

In the second group they came up against the hosts, and eventual winners, West Germany on a rain-soaked pitch. Poland requested the match be postponed, but it went ahead; and Muller's goal ensured Germany won. This defeat ended any chance of Poland winning the trophy, but as they finished second in the group they played in a third place playoff match with Brazil. With victory in this game, they finished third in the tournament.

Whilst Poland could not repeat this in 1978, in the 1982 World Cup their team was in better form. Poland drew 0 – 0 with the eventual winners Italy, and a 5 – 1 thrashing of Peru clinched their place in the second round. A 3 – 0 victory against Belgium put them top of the second group table, followed by a 0 – 0 draw with the USSR ensured that Poland clinched top spot.

Now they were in the semi-finals where they played against Italy who had defeated Brazil 3 – 2 in the previous round. Rossi headed the Italians in front from a free-kick in the first half. In the second half Rossi arrived at the far post to head a cross past Poland's keeper into the net. The goal sealed a 2 - 0 win for the Italians, but Poland's tournament was not quite over as they took on France in the third place playoff. A 3 – 2 victory in this match ended the cup on a high note for Poland, and 1982 remains their best World Cup to date.

The golden era of the Poland team ended after 1982. Since then Poland have made little impact in the World Cup. At the recent Euro 2012 championship they also went out in the first round without winning a game. The current team could potentially qualify for the next World Cup, but will probably not emulate the great sides of the 1970s and early 1980s.


Poland, Poland Soccer Team, Soccer

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author avatar MatthewA
Matthew is the author of the book Battles of the Pacific War 1941 - 1945. You can find further details at

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