Poland’s World Cup qualifier win over Albania in Tirana has been suspended for more than 20 minutes after home fans objected to the guest players. With 13 minutes remaining in the Group I football match, Karol Swiderski gave the Poles the lead. But then he and his teammates received thrown plastic bottles from the stands, forcing the players off the field. Players left the field 20 minutes after the incident at Albania Stadium.
The World Cup qualifier game resumed, and Poland overtook Albania in second place. Before the incident that caused a long delay, Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski was also targeted with an object from the crowd. A post-match interview with Swiderski was also cut short as Polish manager Jakub Kwiatkowski encouraged him to leave as bottles were thrown at him again.
Polish players defend themselves from bottles thrown at them after scoring. Polish players forced to defend themselves from bottles thrown by Albanian fans. “After the goal, the whole bottles blew up, so it was a bit dangerous, but we came back and finished the game,” said Polish captain Robert Lewandowski.
Albania, offering a World Cup final for the first time, will travel to Wembley to face England next month, before completing their campaign at home in Andorra. Poland, three points behind Gareth Southgate, travel to Andorra before hosting Hungary in November for the final two qualifiers.