Young striker Artur Sobiech scored a late winner as a weakened Poland team edged out Latvia in an otherwise forgettable encounter in Austria.
Competing in what was effectively a training match, Poland manager Franciszek Smuda opted for an experimental line-up with the likes of Jakub Blaszczykowski, Lukasz Piszczek, Wojciech Szczesny and Robert Lewandowski rested.
Poland may be available at 22/25 to progress from their group at Euro 2012, but to do so they will need to show a more ruthless streak after missing a number of chances in the first half.
Debutant Rafal Wolski was among those to spurn an inviting opening for Smuda’s side, hitting a shot straight at keeper Pavels Dorosevs after 20 tepid minutes.
Rafal Murawski also missed a golden opportunity before defender Marcin Wasilewski came close in the first period, striking the post with a header.
Smuda’s half-time team talk evidently did little to motivate Poland’s reserves as the second half started in equally poor fashion, with a header from Sebastien Boesnich the only chance of note.
Winger Kamil Grosicki did eventually come into his own, though, as a series of quick runs down the left wing provided some edge to Poland’s otherwise toothless attacks, with striker Pawel Brozek guilty of his fair share of misses.
Grosicki was eventually rewarded for his endeavours eight minutes from time as substitute Sobiech came off the bench to convert one of his crosses for what would prove to be the game’s only goal.
Sobiech rose well to flick a header past Latvia keeper Pavel Dorosev and set off a decent period of late pressure for the Poles that saw them push for but ultimately fail to find a second goal.
Reserve keeper Lukasz Fabianski enjoyed a solid game in place of Arsenal team mate Szczesny, preventing Latvia from scoring on a number of occasions as the underdogs put up a surprisingly competitive display.
You can get odds of 19/4 on Poland repeating this scoreline with a 1-0 win against Greece in the opening game of Euro 2012, which could see returns of £143.75 for anyone utilising bwin’s free £25 bet for registering.
Poland next line up against Slovakia on Saturday and with much of his first-choice line-up likely to start that game, Smuda’s team look a safe bet to win at 11/10.
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