Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Poland coach eyes France upset as World Cup springboard

Poland coach eyes France upset as World Cup springboard

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Poland's coach Czeslaw Michniewicz shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during their Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match against Saudi Arabia on November 26. AFP

Poland coach eyes France upset as World Cup springboard

Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz believes his side can go on to lift the World Cup trophy in Qatar if they get past defending champions France in their last-16 tie on December 4 (10pm Cambodian time).

The Poles reached the knockout rounds of the World Cup for the first time since 1986 after scraping through on goal difference from Group C despite a 2-0 loss to Argentina in their final game.

"We were not ready to go home," said Michniewicz, who only took over the Poland job in January after the departure of Paulo Sousa.

"If we win against France we could become the next world champions.

"We're very happy to play the world champions. France are not already guaranteed to advance. Everything's to play for, you win or go home and the stakes are high."

Michniewicz said he had been unable to pinpoint weak points in France's "wonderful team".

"We believe we will play a good game but we know it's a huge challenge ahead of us," he said. "We want to show the world we can play football."

Robert Lewandowski scored the first World Cup goal of his prolific career in the 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia after he had a penalty saved in Poland's opening 0-0 draw with Mexico.

Michniewicz admitted his team needs to do more to supply the Barcelona striker, with Poland managing just four shots on target in three games so far in Qatar.

"We did not create enough opportunities for Robert," he said. "They [strikers] need to be near the penalty box. Against Argentina the opponent didn't allow us to do a lot.

"We need to improve on that but we need to realise that France will be dictating the game."

Poland must try and subdue a France attack led by Kylian Mbappe, who was left out of the starting line-up for the 1-0 defeat by Tunisia as Didier Deschamps made nine changes with qualification already assured.

"How to defend against him [Mbappe]? I think we'd need to have scooters because he's so fast," quipped Poland forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has come up against the Paris Saint-Germain star with Marseille.

"It's difficult to play against one of the best players in the world. We need to play collectively as a group. No one is able individually to stop him."


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • Kep selected for ‘world-class’ 2.7km beach development

    Kep province has been selected as the first site of a new coastal development initiative, with a “world-class” 2.7km beach planned for the near future. The Kep Provincial Administration met with the National Committee for Coastal Management and Development to discuss the development of the

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s