Poland wins, but too late
HANOVER, Germany - Poland's first 2006 World Cup victory again came too late.
Bartosz Bosacki scored twice to lead Poland to a 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Tuesday in a Group A game between two teams already eliminated from the tournament.
Poland, which lost its first two games in Germany, also won its last game at the 2002 World Cup, when it beat the United States 3-1 in South Korea after dropping its first two group games.
The winner against Costa Rica came in the 66th minute, when Bosacki rose above Paulo Wanchope to powerfully head Jacek Krzynowek's corner kick into the goal.
Costa Rica took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute when Ronald Gomez's low, left-footed free kick from 19 yards out got past the defensive wall and goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Gomez then gave the Ticos a chance to go up 2-0 when he skipped clear of two defenders to feed an unmarked Paulo Wanchope at the edge of the penalty area. But Boruc easily smothered Wanchope's weak right-footed shot.
Bosacki tied the score in the 33rd off a corner kick by Maciej Zurawski. Costa Rica goalkeeper Jose Porras ran out in an attempt to punch the corner kick away, but he stumbled and the ball fell to Bosacki, who knocked it in the net.
Poland had another solid opportunity just before halftime, but Porras pushed midfielder Krzynowek's dipping free kick from 25 yards wide of the goal.
It looked as if Wanchope, Costa Rica's all-time leading scorer, had leveled the game in the last moments when he flicked the ball past Boruc. But the striker was ruled offside.
Bosacki wasn't originally on coach Pawel Janas' 23-man World Cup roster. He joined the team after Damian Gorawski failed his physical due to circulatory and respiratory problems.
But he still wasn't enough to get Poland into the second round.
Thousands of Poles made the short trip to neighboring Germany to support their team. They dominated the crowd, festooning the stadium with red-and-white Polish flags and chanting "Poland! Poland!"
Costa Rica heads home after surrendering nine goals in its three losses. Additional Information: