Soccer-Poland boost hopes with 1-0 win in Albania after crowd trouble

World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group I - Albania v Poland
Soccer Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group I - Albania v Poland - Arena Kombetare, Tirana, Albania - October 12, 2021 Poland players celebrate after the match REUTERS/Florion Goga

October 12, 2021

(Reuters) – Poland beat Albania 1-0 to reclaim second place in Group I after their World Cup qualifier was temporarily suspended when bottles were thrown on the pitch in the second half on Tuesday.

The Group I match was interrupted soon after Poland forward Karol Swiderski scored inside the box following an assist from midfielder Mateusz Klich in the 77th minute.

Albania were missing several key players, with striker Sokol Cikalleshi being the last one to withdraw from the squad with COVID-19, but they still managed to dominate the first half.

After an intense battle, and several missed chances by both sides, Poland got on top in the second period and scored through Swiderski, whose goal sparked the crowd trouble and suspension.

The game, which started at 1845 GMT, resumed at 2045 GMT.

Poland have 17 points from eight games, three points behind leaders England and two points ahead of Albania with two gaemes left. The group winners qualify for the 2022 finals in Qatar, while the second-placed team go into the playoffs.

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi and Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)