Albania – Poland

1990 World Cup Qualification
UEFA - Group 2
Wed. 15 Nov 1989
Stadiumi Qemal Stafa, Tirana
Att.: 10,000

Albania 1 - 2 Poland
0-1 (45) Ryszard Tarasiewicz
1-1 (63) Sokol Kushta
1-2 (84) Jacek Ziober

Ref.: Mr George Smith
L 1: Douglas Hope
L 2: Brian Bendel
(All Scotland)


This is the final game of Group 2. All that was left for either team to play for was honour and prestige. The table read as follows prior to kick-off:

1Sweden 64209310

Whereas the home side would want to break their points duck in order not to end a second successive qualification campaign pointless, the visitors wanted to try and restore some of the people's faith in the national team by winning their final match after a dismal qualification. Poland were playing their third qualifying match under Mr Strejlau, and had not managed to score against neither England nor Sweden in his two previous outings. He were to keep faith in much the same side which had taken to the pitch in both recent home matches, with the exception of forward K Warzycha, who had hardly been brilliant in national team colours of late, and midfielder Nawrocki. Śląsk Wrocław man Szewczyk came in to replace K Warzycha, whilst right-sided defender Kubicki took over for Nawrocki. There is scant information about this match on record, so a formation has to be guessed at. makes an educated guess that Szewczyk took over for Nawrocki in central midfield. Left-sided defender or centre half Wdowczyk continued as captain, and he was indeed the only Polish player of the 27 they had used who started all of their six qualifying matches. He was not considered an 'ever-present', as he had been substituted in the away match in Sweden due to injury.

Home manager Rreli was without three players who had been regular features in the qualification's five first matches: defender Lekbello, defender/midfielder Gega, and wide midfielder Millo. They were also without goalkeeper Mersini, who would have started his fifth out of six had he been present here. However, there were so far ever-presents in sweeper (and now captain) Hodja, left-back Jera and midfield schemer Demollari. They were all in tonight's starting eleven. So too was right-back Zmijani, who featured for the fifth successive qualifier, and who had been one of their better performers, although perhaps slightly less consistent than players such as Hodja and Demollari. There was also no Shehu in the squad, so this meant a second successive start for Kushta, who had scored Albania's goal in the 3-1 defeat in Stockholm. Minga, the attacking midfielder who had been captain in the Albanians' first three qualification matches, was again nowhere to be seen. Mr Rreli had favoured a 5-4-1 formation throughout, but he did seem to opt for two starting strikers here like they had done in the 5-0 defeat at Wembley, as both Kushta and Bubeqi were seen from kick-off.

This was the ninth meeting between the two countries. Poland had won the home fixture 1-0, and had a 4-3-1 record from their previous encounters. Albania's only win had come in a friendly on home territory back in 1953.

Referee was 46 year old Scotsman George Smith. This was his seventh international match since his debut in Wales in 1982. He had not officiated either country previously.

Albania (5-3-2)

1 Blendi Nallbani18FK Partizani
2 Hysen Zmijani26Vllaznia Shkodër
3 Roland Iliadhi26Flamurtari
4 Skënder Hodja (c)29KS 17 Nëntori
5 Arjan Xhumba21Luftëtari
6 Fatbardh Jera29Vllaznia Shkodër
7 Sokol Kushta25Flamurtari
8 Mirel Josasub 60'26KS 17 Nëntori
9 Ledio Panosub 74'21FK Partizani
10 Agim Bubeqi26Flamurtari
11 Sulejman Demollari25Dinamo Tirana

12 Muharrem Dosti25Labinoti
13 Ilir Kepaon 74'23Vllaznia Shkodër
14 Arben Arbërion 60'25Tomori
15 Pjerin Noga26Dinamo Tirana
Manager: Shyqyri Rreli

Poland (4-4-2)

1 Jarosław Bako 25Zagłębie Lubin
2 Dariusz Kubicki26Legia Warszawa
3 Piotr Czachowski23Stal Mielec
4 Dariusz Wdowczyk (c)27Legia Warszawa
5 Zbigniew Kaczmarek27Legia Warszawa
6 Robert Warzycha26Górnik Zabrze
7 Ryszard Tarasiewicz27Neuchâtel Xamax
8 Roman Kosecki23Legia Warszawa
9 Roman Szewczyk24Śląsk Wrocław
10 Dariusz Dziekanowskisub 34'27Celtic
11 Jacek Ziober23ŁKS Łódź

12 Józef Wandzik26Górnik Zabrze
13 Maciej Śliwowski22Stal Mielec
14 Janusz Nawrocki28Katowice
15 Krzysztof Warzychaon 34'24Ruch Chorzów
Manager: Andrzej Strejlau

Tactical line-ups would like to emphasize that this is just a wild shot of guessing how the two teams actually lined up. Any improved suggestions are very welcome.

Match Report

So far, have been unable to find information about the progress and dynamics of this particular match. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.