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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Poland's road to the finals
Poland's Tomasz Kyos and Arkadiusz Bak congratulate Emmanuel Olisadebe on scoring the equalising goal against Wales
Emmanuel Olisadebe proved to be Poland's inspiration
BBC Sport Online looks at the route that unfancied Poland took to the World Cup finals.

Poland were hardly considered one of the favourites to qualify for the World Cup, but after being drawn in a group without a noticeably strong side, they emerged victorious.

Qualifying campaign
W 3-1 Ukraine (a)
W 3-1 Belarus (h)
D 0-0 Wales (h)
W 3-2 Norway (a)
W 4-0 Armenia (h)
W 2-1 Wales (a)
D 1-1 Armenia (a)
W 3-0 Norway (h)
W 4-1 Belarus (a)
D 1-1 Ukraine (h)

A major component in the triumph was Emmanuel Olisadebe, a Nigerian by birth, who spurned his country to become Poland's biggest star.

Olisadebe scored eight of the goals that brought Poland to the finals and secured a transfer to top European side Panathinaikos.

Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest challenge to the Poles came from Ukraine and not Norway.

The Norwegians, for so long one of the better teams in Europe, failed to make an impact.

The Poles actually sealed their qualification through a convincing 3-0 home win over Norway.

It was a a victory which allowed them to coast through the remaining group fixtures, which included a 4-1 hammering by Belarus and a 1-1 draw with Ukraine.

Radoslaw Kaluzny of Poland
Kaluzny scored vital goals at crucial times

Until those two games, the Poles had conceded just six goals, due in no small measure to the efforts of goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, whose form was rewarded with a transfer to Liverpool.

Like many European sides that qualified for the finals, the Poles got there without many major international stars, but they will pose a threat to most sides.

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GROUP D
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SOUTH KOREA 3 +3 7
USA 3 -1 4
PORTUGAL 3 +2 3
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