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Euro 2012 hosts Poland set up Bosnia friendly

05 Dec 2011 18:16:55

Euro 2012 hosts Poland set up Bosnia friendly

Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland will face Bosnia-Herzegovina next week in Turkey in their latest warm-up friendly, Poland's PZPN football association said Monday.

The December 16 match is scheduled to take place in the Mardan Stadium in the Turkish city of Antalya.

Both sides are to call up players from their domestic leagues only, the PZPN said.

Although Bosnia failed to make it to Euro 2012, they were one of the surprises of the qualifying campaign, finishing second behind France in Group D with just a point's difference.

They were then beaten in the play-off by Portugal, who had done the same to them in the play-off for the 2010 World Cup.

Poland, like fellow hosts Ukraine, have an automatic berth at the 16-nation European championships and so must rely on friendlies to hone their skills.

In their most recent encounters, at home last month, they lost 2-0 to Italy and then beat Hungary 2-1.

Poland manager Franciszek Smuda has faced repeated criticism from fans and dressing-room bust-ups with players unhappy with his tactics.

But supporters have been in a more upbeat mood since last Friday's Euro 2012 draw saw Poland avoid traditional continental heavyweights such as Germany or Italy.

With Poland's Group A adversaries surprise Euro 2004 champions Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic, home fans are hoping for at least a place in the quarter-finals.

Poles are desperate for a return to the long-lost glory days which saw their team notch up Olympic gold in 1972, silver in 1976, and third place the World Cup in 1974 and 1982.

Poland have failed to flourish over the past two decades, with solid qualifying campaigns for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and Euro 2008, ending in lacklustre tournament performances.


AFP

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