June 23, 2018 / 5:55 PM / a year ago

Soccer: 'Angry' Poland will beat Colombia, says coach Nawalka

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Poland are still “angry” about their shock defeat in the World Cup opener against Senegal and their rancour will propel them to victory against Colombia, coach Adam Nawalka said on Saturday.

The eighth-ranked Poles are desperate for a result in the Group H clash in Kazan on Sunday, having given up two goals from terrible defensive errors to lose 2-1 to the African side.

“We are expecting a very difficult match, a very intensive match,” Nawalka told reporters through a translator at the pre-match media conference at Kazan Arena.

“But let me say, I strongly believe that we will be victorious after tomorrow’s match.

“We were very angry after the (Senegal) match, so tomorrow we want to play at a different level.

“A very good change happened within our team. An additional energy can be seen. We have a lot of stamina and we’re sufficiently prepared to play very good football tomorrow.”

Poland head into the match with concerns over their defence in the absence of centre back Kamil Glik and the potency of their attack when talisman Robert Lewandowski is unable to score.

Hard man Glik was an unused substitute against Senegal after suffering an injury during training, and he ended up watching his replacement Thiago Cionek score an own goal that kicked off the loss to Senegal.

Nawalka said he was happy with Glik’s recovery but stopped short of confirming he would be fit to play at the Kazan Arena.

“I’m very happy that Kamil Glik is very strongly determined to return to the pitch, this is a rare example of a player that after such a serious injury is so strongly motivated to play,” added the manager.

“We want him to return to the team but we also want him to have time for his recuperation. Whether the time is now, I will decide after training.”

Ten-man Colombia lost 2-1 to Japan in another first round shock but the South Americans could be bolstered by the return of danger man James Rodriguez to the starting side after the playmaker started on the bench against the Blue Samurai while recovering from a muscle injury.

“We know what James can do, he has played for many years at the top level in the world,” Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski said.

“So I believe that the Colombia team appreciate that this is the guy that is like the locomotive of their team.

“He is the driving force so he can be very, very dangerous.”

Editing by Ian Chadband

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