Poland say unfair red card was key to German win
Updated: 2006-06-15 10:19

DORTMUND, June 14 - The dismissal of Radoslaw Sobolewski 15 minutes from time was unjustified and was the key to Germany's 1-0 victory on Wednesday, said Poland's players.

"I certainly don't think it deserved a second yellow," keeper Artur Boruc told reporters.

"It also looked like the German player deliberately left his foot in. That (red card) was probably decisive although even then we thought we could hold out."

Midfielder Sobolewski appeared to be pulling out of the challenge when Miroslav Klose ran across him inside the Polish half after 75 minutes.

The result left Poland clinging to the hope that Costa Rica would beat Ecuador on Thursday, leaving the eastern Europeans a slim chance of qualifying from Group A.

"The annoying thing is even after the red card we had managed to hold them," said left back Michal Zewlakow.

"We were just two minutes short of getting a point. Now our chances are marginal.


"The sending-off came at a moment when the players were very tired. You would expect the referee to be aware of that and it was clear Radoslaw tried to pull out," added Zewlakow.

"For sure if the referee had only given a foul, he wouldn't have done anything wrong. But of course we were playing with the Germans, the hosts, at a crucial moment in a tight game. That's how it goes."

Several Poles also said Germany defender Christoph Metzelder was lucky to escape with a booking for taking out Euzebiusz Smolarek as he raced clear on the right five minutes before the sending-off.

"If the referee had applied the same logic, he would have sent Metzelder off," said defender Bartosz Bosacki.

"There's always a chance of qualifying but you've got to say our hopes now are illusory."

Poland coach Pawel Janas said the late goal had all but knocked his side out of the World Cup at the first stage for the second time running.

"The goal at the very end has ruined our chances. I feel awful," said Janas with tears in his eyes.

"In the final minute we made mistakes by leaving the midfield empty and our defence had no chance."