The Hungarians went 2-0 up in the 57th minute.
Everything seemed to indicate that, the Red-Whites would lose at the opening of a World Cup qualifier.
They risked losing for the first time in the 21st century. They had previously won in 2001 and 2005, and then drew three times.
Indeed, the last time Poland lost three goals was in October 2018 (2:3 against Portugal in the Nations League).
Three substitutes came onto the pitch moments after the second goal. And, lo and behold, within two minutes, the game was a draw.
First, Krzysztof Piątek scored, followed by Kamil Jóźwiak. Both of them started the match on the bench.
It looked as if coach Paulo Sousa had found a solution to his starting eleven in his substitutes.
This change in the tactical plan for the meeting in Budapest led to the result from the 57th minute.
Two goals in two minutes for Poland erased the dire impression of a loss after almost an hour of play at the Puskas Arena.
Poland didn’t have a shot until the break. Robert Lewandowski waited in vain for 20 minutes for a pass in or near the penalty area. But the ball didn’t arrive, he had only four contacts with it. So, the captain again took to playing around the middle of the pitch. And till the break, the team was non-existent in the offensive.
One defensive mistake was enough for the hosts to lead again. Roland Sallai received a pass behind defenders. He did not allow Jan Bednarek to catch up. He took advantage of Szczęsny’s bad positioning to kick the ball into the net.
The Poles were unable to respond. This was despite everyone promising that it was time for the players to take more responsibility. They, including the captain and goalkeeper, needed to change the result and the game.
It finally ended with one player looking at the other until the break.
It was sad to see the Polish players’ impotence against the strong and solid Hungarians.
Fortunately, after the break the offensive players were able to hit the net. They equalized and rectified the mistakes that were made at the back.
The side’s midfielders did not contribute much for a long time. Reca only woke up a little after the break. Sebastian Szymański could not win a duel and was also substituted.
There was a lack of acceleration, element of surprise, and any idea how to break through the well-organised Hungarian defence.
The introduction of substitutes caused confusion for the hosts. Jóźwiak, especially, did not do badly.
For the second time Lewandowski, Milik and Piątek were on the pitch together. And only the latter failed to score.
The captain scored the third goal with a beautiful shot from several meters.
When tied at 2-2, the Poles did not calm their nerves. They allowed the Hungarians too much in their penalty area.
All in all, the game and style of the Polish players continue to leave much to be desired.
Hungary – Poland 3-3 (1-0):
Goals: Roland Sallai (6), Adam Szalai (53), Krzysztof Piątek (60), Kamil Jóźwiak (61), Willi Orban (78), Robert Lewandowski (83).
Yellow cards: Fiola, Lang, Nagy, Szalai – Helik, Bereszynski
Red card: Fiola (90+4 – for two yellows)
Hungary: Gulacsi – Fiola, Orban, Szalai – Lovrencsics (66. Nego), Kleinheisler, Nagy, Kalmar (81. Siger), Hangya (66. Lang) – Sallai (72. Varga), Szalai
Poland: Szczęsny – Bereszyński, Bednarek, Helik (58. Glik), Reca (79. Rybus) – Szymański (59. Jóźwiak), Krychowiak, Moder (59. Piątek), Zielinski – Lewandowski, Milik (84. Grosicki)