Cacau earns 2-2 draw for Germany in Poland
Cacau's injury time equalizer in a 2-2 draw for Germany denied 10-man Poland its first ever win over its neighbor in a friendly between the sides Tuesday.
Cacau scored with the game's last kick in the fourth minute of injury time, three minutes after Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski gave his side the lead from a penalty conceded by goalkeeper Tim Wiese.
Wiese - who made a rare start in place of the rested Manuel Neuer - brought down Pavel Brozek in the 90th minute.
He might have conceded one earlier when Wiese felled Dariusz Dudka in the area in the 55th minute. But Italian referee Daniele Orsato played the advantage and Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski was first to react to fire the ball into the empty net.
Toni Kroos equalized with a penalty in the 68th, when Arkadiusz Glowacki was booked for bringing down substitute Thomas Mueller.
Glowacki was sent off in the 81st for his yellow card after a cynical foul on Mario Goetze.
''I'm thankful that we can play these type of games and I'm thankful, that we don't win every game,'' Germany coach Joachim Loew said.
He made seven changes to the side that defeated Austria 6-2 to secure qualification for the 2012 European Championship last Friday, leaving out the likes of Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Oezil as fringe players were given a run out against the tournament co-host.
''Whoever knows me, knows that I am not only happy with victories. I want that we further improve,'' Loew said.
Buoyed by enthusiastic fans at the Gdansk Arena stadium - which was especially built for next summer's Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine - Franciszek Smuda's side caused the Germans problems in defense with quick breaks, while pressure in midfield forced uncustomary mistakes.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a string of inspired saves to keep the visiting forwards at bay, with Lukas Podolski - who had a goal ruled out for offside - but particularly Miroslav Klose guilty of wasting chances against the land of their birth.
Slawomir Peszko, meanwhile, wasted Poland's chances at the other end. Cologne winger Peszko - one of three Germany-based players in Poland's starting lineup - shot straight at Wiese, before hitting the side netting with only the goalkeeper to beat in the 28th minute.
Peszko had another chance before the interval but Wiese stood his ground, leaving Peszko the worse off after their collision.
Brazil-born Cacau came on for the ineffective Klose at the break, and was agonizingly wide of the right post in the 51st.
Poland gained confidence after Lewandowski's goal - Per Mertesacker had to head the ball off the line - and Loew reacted by bring on Mueller for the frustrated Podolski in the 60th.
The Bayern Munich forward earned the penalty for Germany to equalize eight minutes later, and provided the cross for Cacau to equalize at the death.
Blaszczykowski was unable to hide his disappointment.
''In the last second we fell asleep a bit, and Germany simply scored,'' the Dortmund midfielder said. ''(But) I think it was a good game, we played well against a very good team.''
Poland: Wojciech Szczesny, Marcin Wasilewski, Damien Perquis (Kamil Glik, 72), Arkadiusz Glowacki, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Rafal Murawski, Dariusz Dudka. Jakub Blaszczykowski (Szymon Pawlowski, 90+4), Adrian Mierzejewski (Maciej Rybus, 84), Slawomir Peszko (Adam Matuschyk, 65), Robert Lewandowski (Pavel Brozek, 80).
Germany: Tim Wiese, Christian Traesch, Per Mertesacker, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm (Marcel Schmelzer, 46), Simon Rolfes (Lars Bender, 77), Toni Kroos, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Lukas Podolski (Thomas Mueller, 60), Miroslav Klose (Cacau, 46).
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy).