World Cup qualifier: Five-star Poland hammer San Marino to keep hopes alive
Poland struck five past San Marino on Tuesday to keep their 2014 World Cup qualification hopes alive.
Last Updated: 10/09/13 10:53pm
Alessandro Della Valle ended San Marino's five-year wait for a goal to cancel out Zielinski's opener but Jakub Blaszczykowski, Waldemar Sobota, Zielinski again and Adrian Mierzejewski restored order at the Stadio Olimpico.
The result keeps Poland in the qualifying picture, although they lie fourth and trail group leaders England by three points.
San Marino keeper Aldo Simoncini had already saved well from Pawel Brozek and Sobota before the opener arrived in the 11th minute, Zielinski finishing after Sebastian Boenisch delivered the ball from the right.
Zielinski saw a volley saved before the hosts surprisingly equalised, Della Valle heading home their first competitive goal since October 2008 from Matteo Vitaioli's free-kick.
Poland's response was swift, Blaszczykowski hammering home to restore their lead within two minutes.
Pawel Brozek then set up Sobota to give Poland a 3-1 half-time lead.
They went in search of further goals at the start of the second period, Zielinski and Piotr Celeban going close before Brozek forced a scrambling save from Simoncini.
The hosts' experienced striker Andy Selva volleyed over from 25 yards before Poland's fourth finally arrived, Zielinski curling home a free-kick after Della Valle fouled Mateusz Klich.
Mierzejewski hammered home the fifth and Simoncini brilliantly denied Klich, before Alessandro Bianchi went close to a brilliant second for San Marino in injury time.