SMOLAREK DEBUTS FOR POLAND

Polish coach Jerzy Engel handed Feyenoorder Ebi Smolarek his first full cap as a second half substitute in the 4-1 rout of Northern Ireland Wednesday night in Cyprus. Tomasz Rzasa also came off the bench in the game for the last thirty minutes. “I feel really fantastic,” Ebi enthused by telephone from Cyprus. “This is an enormous honour for me. It went well too and the national coach told me afterwards that he was satisfied.”

“Just after I got on it took a little getting used to, but I soon got over that. I was combining well with the other players and I even got an assist. The coach complimented me at the end.” Ebi will be secretly hoping he has done enough to stake a claim for a world cup jersey, although he’s keeping his feet on the ground at the moment. “The only thing that’s certain is that I have played an international and I’m very, very proud of that. I haven’t been able to speak with my father yet, but I think he’ll also be proud of me.” Elsewhere, Ebi’s Feyenoord team mate Johan Elmander was given fifteen minutes in a Swedish team that drew 2-2 in Greece, while Patrick Paauwe came on halfway through the second half of Holland’s home draw with England. And in Riyadh Jon Dahl Tomasson started for Denmark in the 1-0 win against Saudi Arabia.

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