Mateusz Klich has ‘become a hero’ for Poland fans after a late goal secured his country a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish side went ahead just after half time and then Poland made hard work of getting back into the game. Klich came on after an hour of the match and scored the equaliser on 87 minutes.

The Leeds United player hadn’t started after his performance against Italy brought mixed reviews in Poland. Even the player’s father spoke to the Polish media and accepted it hadn’t been a great game for the midfielder.

Wojciech Klich explained: “First of all, I was happy. Mateusz’s performance was perhaps not dazzling but decent.

“Errors always happen. Mateusz, however, was active, he tried to play forward, but he also helped defensively.”

It’s not quite going from zero to hero, because the Leeds player has many backers in Poland, but it will have been nice to be the centre of attention for supporters after the match.

Przeglad Sportowy say Klich has ‘become a hero’ and ask if he could be a new star of the national team. The Polish newspaper have a video to back up their claims, with Klich posing for photos, holding up young children and handing out autographs.

The man himself spoke to Laczy Nas Pilka and explained: “I was very happy that after four years I was again called to represent Poland. I came to the training camp in order to show my best side. I played from the beginning in the match against Italy in the Nations league, but it was not my best performance. As for the result, we drew 1-1 in Bologna and the result turned out to be OK. 

“Today I wasn’t in the starting lineup, but when I got the chance, I wanted to help the team. We must admit that we have a tough match behind us. We thought that Ireland would only knock out long balls, and then the opponent really tried to play football, which made us have some problems. 

“Next time I’ll have to score faster, so that there is more calm. Certainly, it would be easier for us to play. The truth, however, is that we have only a few training sessions under the leadership of the new coach. We need time to get better. It is known that the representation is not so easy, because we meet once a month, two, and sometimes even once every four years, as it was in my case lately (laughs). It’s hard to work on something, but I’m good at it. I will try to maintain a good run and do my best at club level so that I do not have to wait so long for another call.”

That can only be good news for Leeds, Klich plans more international appearances in the future and knows he needs to impress to do that.