Harry Maguire thundered home a late winner as England maintained their 100 per cent start to World Cup Qualifying with a 2-1 victory over Poland at Wembley.
The Manchester United defender smashed in a priceless goal five minutes from time after the visitors had threatened to claim a surprise draw.
Harry Kane had put England in charge early on as he became the Three Lions’ all-time leading penalty scorer when he converted the opener on 19 minutes.
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Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring their side's first goal from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between England and Poland on March 31, 2021 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

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Poland, who were without their injured talisman Robert Lewandowski, lacked threat for much of the encounter but were handed an equaliser just before the hour. Jakub Moder gleefully fired past Nick Pope after a shocking error from John Stones on the edge of his own area.
Stones then made amends for his howler when he nodded a left-wing corner into the path of Maguire to snatch a late victory.
The result means England have three wins from three and sit two points clear at the top of Group I. Hungary are second on seven points with Poland three worse off in fourth.
Gareth Southgate will now turn his full focus to preparations for this summer’s Euros. England have home friendlies with Austria and Romania in early June before the Three Lions get their bid for glory underway against Croatia on June 13.

Southgate praises Stones 'composure' after error against Poland

TALKING POINT

Late show keeps England on track. Poland almost looked like pulling off a shock without Lewandowski, but this Three Lions team once again showed an ability to strike late. It was far from vintage but you still sense England will have too much quality in the group overall, to suffer any major worries as Southgate looks to navigate a bump-free path to Qatar.
England can now put the World Cup to one side and concentrate on the final preparations for this summer’s Euros. This was the Three Lions’ last competitive game before Southgate names his squad for the tournament and it’s safe to say he’ll have a firm idea of a large number of the names he wants to be involved.

England's striker Harry Kane (C) takes on Poland's defender Jan Bednarek (L) and Poland's forward Krzysztof Piatek (R) during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group I qualification football match between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium in London on Mar

Image credit: Getty Images

There will probably be plenty of talk about Stones after this game too. He may have blotted his copybook with the type of error he had looked to have cut from his game for Manchester City this season, but that one mistake won’t harm his renaissance too much. He recovered well and played a key part in the winner.
The bottom line is that England may have been far from convincing here but managed to win ugly and have a strong group of players to offer optimism to supporters heading into the summer.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Phil Foden (England). The Man City starlet once again showed why there are such high hopes for him in a senior England shirt. He was a real livewire with his mazy runs and probing passes causing the Polish defence plenty of problems.

Grzegorz Krychowiak of Poland is challenged by Phil Foden of England during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between England and Poland on March 31, 2021 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

ENGLAND: Pope 6, Walker 6, Stones 6, Maguire 8, Chilwell 8, Rice 7, Phillips 7, Mount 8, Foden 8, Sterling 7, Kane 6. Subs: Lingard n/a, James n/a, Calvert-Lewin n/a.
POLAND: Szczesny 6, Bednarek 6, Glik 6, Helik 6, Bereszynski 6, Krychowiak 7, Moder 7, Rybus 6, Swiderski 6, Piatek 7, Zielinski 6. Subs: Milik 6, Jozwiak 6, Augustyniak 5, Reca n/a, Grosicki n/a
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

19’ - GOAL! – England 1-0 Poland. Kane makes no mistake from the spot as he coolly fires down the middle after Szczesny dived to his right. The penalty was awarded after Sterling’s mazy run down the left was abruptly ended in the area by Helik.
58’ - GOAL! – England 1-1 Poland. The Poles are level. Jakub Moder lashes a super finish beyond Pope after a shocking error at the back by Stones.
67’ – POLAND CHANCE! Milik directs a looping header wide of the far post after a left-wing cross was nodded back into the middle.
85’ - GOAL! – England 2-1 Poland. Maguire thunders a superb finish into the roof of the net after Stones had nodded a left-wing corner into his path.

'Great reaction from Stones' - Maguire lauds England team-mate

KEY STATS

Kane is now the all-time leading penalty scorer for England, netting 10 from the spot - one more than Frank Lampard.
Stones has ended on the winning side in 93% of his combined appearances for Manchester City and England this season, with 27 of his 29 outings ending in victories for his team (D1 L1).
Stones registered only his third assist in 324 senior matches for club and country, and his first since January 2020 against Port Vale in an FA Cup tie.
England have now won each of their last 20 home qualifying matches for the EUROs/World Cup, in a run stretching back to October 2012.
Kane has been directly involved in 30 goals in 21 EUROs/World Cup qualifying matches (22 goals, 8 assists), scoring at least once in each of his last 12 such appearances, stretching back to October 2017.
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