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In recent days, Polish media have tried to stir up nationalistic sentiments over the match, suggesting the encounter would be more than a simple soccer competition. Newspapers Monday were full of dramatic references to Poland’s victorious 1920 battle against the Bolshevik Army, known as the Miracle on the Vistula.

The Super Express tabloid carried a front page mocked-up picture of Poland coach Franciszek Smuda charging on horseback, saber in hand, in a 1920 Polish army uniform under the headline “Faith, Hope, Smuda” _ a play on an old army motto: “Faith, Hope, Motherland.”

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Associated Press writers Vanessa Gera in Warsaw and Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.