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Poles lose their ´magic´ for Austrian clash

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jun 2008

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Poland suffered another huge injury blow on Monday as it was revealed that their captain Maciej Zurawski will miss the next Group B match with co-hosts Austria and could even be out of the tournament.

The 31-year-old – nicknamed 'magic' when he was at Scottish giants Celtic – suffered a thigh injury during the 2-0 opening defeat by Germany on Sunday.

“Maciej Zurawski was unable to train today (Monday),” admitted Poland coach Leo Beenhakker.

“We do not know if he will be able to play again during the tournament, but I can definitely say that he will not play against Austria,” added the 65-year-old Dutchman.

Beenhakker – who has coached such diverse footballing talents as Holland and Trinidad and Tobago – admitted he had not noticed that Zurawski – scorer of 17 goals in his 72 internationals – was injured and it was not the reason he took him off.

“I took him off for tactical reasons,” said Beenhakker.

“I didn't know he was injured, I had noticed that he wasn't running as much towards the end of the first-half, I only understood why afterwards.”

The Poles – who are making their debut in the championships – had already lost two players before the tournament, Jakub Blaszczykowski and reserve 'keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Beenhakker also rested on Monday defensive midfielder Mariusz Lewandowski, but he is expected to be fit for selection agaisnt Austria, a match the Poles cannot realistically afford to lose if they are to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last eight.

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