If Friday’s match against Israel was to serve the Polish youth team as a good starting point before the away competition against Germany, Adam Majewski’s players cannot complain about their mood. The White and Reds won at the ŁKS stadium 2-1 and added further valuable points, and the only minor reasons for concern are the first goal conceded in these qualifiers and the third missed penalty kick in a row. Coach Majewski hopes that there will be no similar mistakes on Tuesday in Essen.
Stolarczyk’s team won in Germany 4:0
– I think that, paradoxically, we have a greater deficit in defense when it comes to central defenders than in offense, because we have players there who play at a high level and play key roles in their clubs. However, we will work on all elements, because there must be a balance between offense and defense, we cannot forget about it – declared the coach of the U-21 team in an interview with “PS” before the November break for national team matches. In the match against Israel, for the first time in the current series, his defense did not leave the pitch without conceding a goal, but Kacper Tobiasz had to take the ball out of the net much too late for the favorable result for his team to be questioned.
Before the theoretically most difficult match in the MME 2025 qualifiers, the Polish youth team can look for inspiration in the events from two years ago, when the team led by Maciej Stolarczyk also competed with the Germans on their territory during the November international window. The young Poles then shocked our western neighbor by winning 4-0 and don’t be fooled by the fact that the hosts were weak from the 19th minute, as they were already losing by three goals. Among the players called by Majewski for the current training camp, Łukasz Bejger, Jakub Kamiński and Kacper Kozłowski played in that match, and each of them made significant progress in their careers within two years of the spectacular win. Ultimately, the U-21 team could not qualify for the previous European Championship tournament as a success, because after a 1-2 home defeat against Germany, they lost their chance to advance.
Peda and Łęgowski joined the youth group
This time the final will be better than last time also because after the first part of the international break, coach Majewski can count on support from the first Polish national team. After a draw with the Czech Republic (1:1), which closed the way to direct promotion to EURO 2024, Michał Probierz allowed Patryk Peda and Mateusz Łęgowski to join the youth team. The former had an unusual episode on Friday at PGE Narodowy, because after an hour of play he replaced the injured Paweł Bochniewicz, but before the end of the match… he had to give way to Sebastian Szymański.
Łęgowski, in turn, played in the starting lineup in the October matches of the U-21 team against Slovakia (2:2) and Estonia (5:0). Majewski hopes that with the players who had the opportunity to participate in the senior national team’s training camp and who gain football experience in Italy on a daily basis, his team will be able to challenge the favored Germans. In the new round, the Polish youth team wants to once again present itself well abroad, and above all, to get closer to promotion from the six-team group, in which it will play against Israel (away) and Bulgaria (home) in the spring.-
The youth team regularly wastes penalty kicks
Tuesday’s meeting in Essen will answer the question of where the Polish youth national team is after the first two training camps led by Majewski. It will also be a verification of the current potential of the individual leaders of the team, which has had no problem being the favorite in its qualifying group, but in Germany it will undoubtedly face the biggest challenge during the current series. After the match against Israel, Majewski may be pleased with the breakthrough of Szymon Włodarczyk, who regularly scored in friendly matches during Michał Probierz’s term of office, but he scored in the competition at the ŁKS stadium for the first time in the fight for promotion to MME 2025.
Michał Rakoczy will also want to remind us of his value. He showed off his effectiveness at the beginning of the current qualifiers, when he deserved to be the sports and mental leader of the team, but in the match against Israel when the score was 0-0, he missed a penalty kick. Interestingly, such an accident happened to him for the second time this fall at the ŁKS stadium – on Friday, his shot was saved by the rival goalkeeper, and at the end of September, in Cracovia’s match against the newcomer PKO BP Ekstraklasa (2-0), he hit the crossbar. Tomasz Pieńko also deserved another chance, as he has been disappointing for Zagłębie Lubin this season, but he finished the match against Israel with an impressive assist.