With nothing to lose, Poland and France put on a satisfying show of offensive soccer in the third-place game of the 1982 World Cup tournament tonight, with the Poles winning, 3-2.
Both teams played with pride, as the occasional scrappiness and a few temperamental fouls showed.
The Poles, who also finished third in the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, got goals from Andrzej Szarmach, Stefan Majewski and Janusz Kupcewicz. The first two goals came in the closing minutes of the first half, the last in the first minute after intermission.
Rene Girad and Alain Couriol scored for France.
France, which lost a punishing, two-hour overtime classic to West Germany, 4-3, in the semifinals, started five players new to the World Cup, including the two goal scorers.
The French dominated early, and 13 minutes into the game Girad beat goalkeeper Josef Mlynarczyk with a shot from the right side that ricocheted off the far post and into the net.
But in the 40th minute, Szarmach equalized on a goal that was a mirror image of Girad's. Coming in toward the goal area from the left, he shot across the goal mouth and hit the far post. The ball ricocheted into the net.
Four minutes later, Majewski headed in a corner kick from Kupcewicz to make the halftime score 2-1.
The second half had barely started when Kupcewicz hit the ultimate winner, sending a free kick into the net from 22 yards out with the French defense out of position.
In the 73rd minute, Couriol scored on a play that had the Polish defense waiting in vain for an offside call.
Couriol's little dribbler rolled past the stunned Mlynarczyk, and France appeared to have a chance again. But the French had run out of strength.