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updated: 10/5/2017 2:51 PM

Lewandowski hat trick puts Poland close to qualifying

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  • Poland's Robert Lewandowski, second from right, celebrates scoring his goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Poland's Robert Lewandowski, second from right, celebrates scoring his goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Poland's Robert Lewandowski, centre, scores his side's goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Poland's Robert Lewandowski, centre, scores his side's goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Poland's players pose for a team photo prior to the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Poland's players pose for a team photo prior to the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Poland's Robert Lewandowski, far right, scores during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Poland's Robert Lewandowski, far right, scores during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Poland's Robert Lewandowski, right, celebrates with teammates scoring his goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Poland's Robert Lewandowski, right, celebrates with teammates scoring his goal during the World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Denmark's Christian Eriksen, right, celebrates with Pione Sisto after scoring the first goal of his team during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match against Montenegro, at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

    Denmark's Christian Eriksen, right, celebrates with Pione Sisto after scoring the first goal of his team during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match against Montenegro, at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Denmark's Christian Eriksen, center, scoring the opening goal of his team during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match against Montenegro, at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

    Denmark's Christian Eriksen, center, scoring the opening goal of his team during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match against Montenegro, at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen, left, challenges Montenegro's Marko Simic, during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

    Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen, left, challenges Montenegro's Marko Simic, during their World Cup Group E qualifying soccer match at the City Stadium in Podorica, Montenegro, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.
    Associated Press

 
 

YEREVAN, Armenia -- Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick to become Poland's all-time highest scorer and put his team on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup after beating Armenia 6-1 on Thursday.

After Denmark won at Montenegro 1-0, Poland leads Europe Group E by three points over Denmark, and needs a point from the last-round match on Sunday against Montenegro in Warsaw to automatically qualify as the group winner.

Montenegro is third, six points behind.

With his third hat trick in the campaign, Lewandowski became the most prolific scorer in this European qualifying with 15, one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Before Lewandowski struck, Kamil Grosicki needed only two minutes to fire Poland ahead with a clinical finish after Lukasz Piszczek set him up at Republican Stadium.

Lewandowski curled in a free kick over the defensive wall from some 20 meters for his first goal of the night and 48th in internationals, tying Wlodzimierz Lubanski as Poland's all-time leading scorer.

Just seven minutes later, Lewandowksi owned the record outright after netting from close following an indirect free kick, given because Taron Voskanyan passed the ball to goalkeeper Grigor Meliksetyan.

Another tap in gave Lewandowski his hat trick in the 64th, and 50th international goal.

Hovhannes Hambardzumyan headed home for Armenia six minutes before halftime to reduce the lead to 3-1.

Jakub Blaszczykowski and substitute Rafal Wolski also scored for Poland.

DENMARK STILL ALIVE

Christian Eriksen scored from the edge of the area 16 minutes into the game, a precious goal for Denmark to keep alive hope of automatic qualifying.

It was the seventh goal for the midfielder in qualifying.

Denmark, which handed Poland its only defeat in the group stage by 4-0, hosts Romania in the last round and must win to win the group.

ROMANIA FOURTH

Constantin Budescu scored twice in five minutes late in the first half to lead Romania over Kazakhstan 3-0 and cement its fourth-place finish in the group.

Substitute Claudiu Keseru added the third goal in the second half and Bauyrzhan Turysbek scored the lone goal for Kazakhstan.

Armenia is six points behind Romania in fifth, and Kazakhstan has two points at the bottom.

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