Poland are on course to seal a playoff spot at least in Group I of the European qualifiers as far as the World Cup 2022 tournament is concerned after the crucial away win over Albania on Tuesday night.

The Polish team started the latest set of qualifying games in Group I in third place and outside the top two positions that could lead to qualification but a slim win over hosts Albania has seen them leapfrog their opponents into the top two places in their group. Group I winners will secure a place at next year’s FIFA World Cup tournament on Qatari soil automatically, while the team in second place can only qualify for the tournament via the playoffs.

Poland were able to move into second place thanks to a 1-0 win over home team Albania. The lone goal was scored by the in-form Karol Swiderski who has scored regularly for Poland during the qualifiers. He was able to take his tally to four goals in the qualifiers with his strike against the Albanians.

England are the leading team in Group I but they could not make a giant stride towards World Cup qualification after they were forced to a 1-1 draw at home by Hungary who needed a result to stay in contention for a playoff spot at least. The Hungarians took the lead through a Daniel Salloi spot kick on 24 minutes after Manchester United defender Luke Shaw had been adjudged to have committed a foul on the box via a raised high boot. Manchester City central defender John Stones restored parity for the hosts in the 37th minute and the scoreline was thereafter maintained for the reminder of the first half and the whole of the second half.

As things stand in Group I, Poland (17 points) are three points adrift of leaders England in second place with two games to play, while Albania are in third place and two points further back. Hungary are four points off Albania in fourth place.

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