Poland secures 1-0 win to send Wales to Nations League lower tier

Poland finished third in Group Four on seven points and remains in the competition's top tier. Fourth-placed Wales, on one point, had needed a win to avoid relegation.

Wales players react to their loss at the end of the UEFA Nations League match between Wales and Poland at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Wales players react to their loss at the end of the UEFA Nations League match between Wales and Poland at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. | Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Poland finished third in Group Four on seven points and remains in the competition's top tier. Fourth-placed Wales, on one point, had needed a win to avoid relegation.

A second-half goal from striker Karol Swiderski gave Poland a 1-0 win over a courageous Wales team in Cardiff on Sunday, allowing the Poles to hold onto its place in League A of the Nations League but relegating its host to League B.

Poland finished third in Group Four on seven points and remains in the competition's top tier. Fourth-placed Wales, on one point, had needed a win to avoid relegation.

Robert Lewandowski found himself on the edge of the box in the 57th minute and played a one-touch cross to Swiderski, who struck instinctively into the bottom right corner.

It was Poland's first win in five games since their 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture against Wales in June, when the Charlotte FC striker also scored.

Wales dominated possession and pressed high in the opening minutes, but the visitors were first to take a shot on goal in the 25th minute when Lewandowski's header after a free kick was saved by keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wales had a chance minutes later when winger Daniel James ran with the ball towards goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and struck from close range, but the Juventus keeper saved both his first attempt and the follow-up.

The in-form Szczesny then prevented Gareth Bale's attempt from a tight angle metres away from his goal, while forward Brennan Johnson dragged a low shot just wide of the right post in the 41st minute.

Following the break and Poland's goal, Johnson latched on to a pass and raced into the box, but his shot was again kept out by Szczesny, who had an outstanding night between the posts.

Wales set up camp in Poland's half in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, and Bale hit the woodwork from close-range in stoppage time as he returned to the national side after a year without playing a full game.

But the home side were unable to break through, and the Poles held on for the win.

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