Poland manager Adam Nawalka expressed happiness at his side’s victory over Japan, but insisted he did not want to ‘sugarcoat’ the result.
Poland lost their first two games against Senegal and Colombia, meaning they entered the final round of matches already eliminated from the World Cup.
However, Jan Bednarek’s second-half goal gave the Eagles their first win of the tournament and allowed them to end the tournament on something of a high note, though the game was marred by both sides aimlessly passing the ball around for the final ten minutes as Japan were set to progress via the fair play rule.
“It was a hard match, we had to mobilize all our strength to win over Japan,” Nawalka told the press after the match (via FourFourTwo). “We showed that we do not give up, fight till the end and can bring joy to our fans.
“I do not want to sugarcoat this win, I don’t think that. We analyzed the first two matches. The way we look at it is we received a lot of experience in Russia.
“I hope this will help us in the future.”
Nawalka has been in charge of Poland since 2013 and is the first manager in the country’s history to take them to consecutive international tournaments. However, Poland’s poor performance in Russia has already raised speculation over the manager’s future, with many expecting the side to fare better in the tournament.
The Poles finished bottom of Group H with three points, with Colombia ending up as group winners despite losing in their first match, with Japan qualifying in second place after picking up fewer yellow cards than Senegal.