Reuters

Euro 2016 - Blaszczykowski winner against Ukraine seals Poland progress to last 16

Blaszczykowski winner seals Poland progress to last 16

22/06/2016 at 03:35Updated 22/06/2016 at 15:36

Euro 2016, Group C, Stade Velodrome, Marseille - Poland 1 (Blaszczykowski 54') Ukraine 0

Jakub Blaszczykowski struck the winner as Poland secured second place in Group C and a last-16 meeting against Switzerland with a 1-0 win over Ukraine at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

Adam Nawałka’s side were second best for much of the contest, with Ukraine playing only for pride after becoming the first side to be eliminated from the tournament, but Jakub Blaszczykowski came on at the break to make the difference and clinch the three points.

Elsewhere, Germany completed their group stage campaign with a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, as Mario Gomez found the net for the world champions against Michael O’Neill’s side in Paris.

As group winners, Germany will face the third-placed side in Group A (Albania), Group B (Slovakia) or Group F (Hungary, Iceland, Portugal or Austria) with their group matches not completed until Wednesday.

Runners-up Poland will meet Switzerland on Saturday in Saint-Etienne in the last 16 while Northern Ireland could still qualify as one of the four best third-placed third teams depending on results elsewhere.

Assuming they qualify for the knock-out phase, Northern Ireland could face hosts and Group A winners France in Lyon on Sunday or Group B winners Wales in Paris on Saturday in a possible all-British last 16 tie.

Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates after scoring a goal.

Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates after scoring a goal.Reuters

TALKING POINT - Should Poland be concerned over Lewandowski and Milik’s dip?

Coming into the European Championships Poland were billed as one of the continent’s most exciting sides, with Robert Lewandowski and Arek Milik two of the finest forwards in the game right now. But the duo have failed to find their groove at the tournament, with Poland nothing just twice over three group stage games. Should Adam Nawalka be concerned or should he focus on their unbeaten record at Euro 2016 so far?

Poland's Robert Lewandowski reacts.

Poland's Robert Lewandowski reacts.Eurosport

MAN OF THE MATCH - Bartosz Kapustka

The young midfielder provided Poland with drive and energy through the centre of the pitch, but will now miss the first knockout round fixture through suspension after picking up a booking. Kapustka will be missed in the next match, given how important he has proved against Germany and Ukraine. His void must be filled.

PLAYER RATINGS

Ukraine - Pyatov 6, Butko 6, Kucher 5, Khacheridi 5, Fedetskiy 6, Rotan 6, Stepanenko 6, Zinchenko 8, Yarmolenko 7, Konoplyanka 5, Zozulya 6. Subs - Kovalenko 5, Tymoschuk.

Poland - Fabianski 6, Jedrzejczyk 5, Pazdan 7, Glik 7, Cionek 6, Jodlowiec 6, Krychowiak 6, Zielinski 5, Kapustka 8, Milik 5, Lewandowski 5. Subs - Grosicki 6, Blaszczykowski 7, Starzynski.

KEY MOMENTS

3’ SAVE AT THE NEAR POST! Good passing move from Poland sets Milik through on goal, but the Ajax frontman can only force the save from Pyatov in the Ukrainian goal. Good chance.

5’ LEWANDOWSKI SHOULD HAVE SCORED! The Bayern Munich striker hasn't scored at this tournament, but he should have found the net there. He fires over the bar from only six yards out.

6’ FABIANSKI DROPS THE BALL! The Polish keeper didn't look too convincing in that instance. He dropped a Yarmolenko cross into the penalty area, but he recovers at the second attempt.

10’ GREAT BLOCK! Ukraine open up the Polish defence, but Pazdan makes a wonderful block not once, but twice, as the team in white and red keep their sheet clean for the moment.

17’ CLAIMS FOR A PENALTY! Yarmolenko goes down inside the area under the challenge of a Polish penalty, but the referee decides that there wasn't enough contact to warrant a spot kick.

19’ YARMOLENKO SCREWS A SITTER WIDE! He should have scored. He was clean through on goal but he decided to open up his body and sent his shot across the target and wide.

22’ GLIK WIDE OF THE TARGET! The freekick was swung into the Ukrainian penalty area, but the Polish midfielder couldn't direct his header on target and ball bounces wide. Still 0-0.

24’ LEWANDOWSKI CHANCE! Under pressure the Bayern Munich striker manages to create a shooting opportunity for himself, but he couldn't quite trouble Pyatov in the Ukraine goal with his effort.

Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec and Ukraine's Yevhen Konoplyanka in action.

Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec and Ukraine's Yevhen Konoplyanka in action.Reuters

32’ KONOPLYANKA SHOOTS WIDE! The Ukrainian winger takes aim from the edge of the penalty area, but Fabianski decides to let the effort drift wide and into the side netting.

49’ GOOD CHANCE FOR ZINCHENKO! The teenager leaped highest in the penalty area, but he made too much of a connection on the cross and sent his header over the target.

54’ GOAL! Ukraine 0 Poland 1: What an excellently worked goal! Milik plays a wonderful pass into Blaszczykowski, who drags the ball past the defender and smashes a strike into the top corner.

56’ CHANCE TO MAKE IT 2-0! That was the opportunity for Poland to take a firm grip of the game. Kaputska was through on goal but the angle was tight and he could only shoot wide.

65’ KONOPLYANKA SHOOTS OVER! The Ukrainian winger was set up for the shot on the edge of the penalty area, but he was leaning back and sent his effort well over the target.

73’ SMASHED OVER THE BAR! A Konoplyanka cross into the penalty area causes mayhem in the Polish ranks, but when the ball falls to Zinchenko he fired it well over the target.

77’ NO TAKERS! Groisicki's freekick delivery at the back post was a dangerous one for Poland, but Milik was alert to the opportunity and the ball flashes out the other side and out of play.

81’ HEADER JUST WIDE! That was the opportunity Ukraine had been waiting for in this second half, but when it comes Zozulya heads just past the post. Fabianski was beaten.

83’ GOOD SAVE FROM FABIANSKI! Rotan lined up the shot from the best part of about 30 yards, but the Polish keeper watched it all the way and got down well to make the diving stop.

85’ YARMOLENKO TRIES HIS LUCK! This time the winger cuts inside off the right flank and fires off a strike at goal, but it's far too central and Fabianki can make the simple save.

Poland's goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and Ukraine's

Poland's goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and Ukraine'sReuters

KEY STATS

Poland have finished second in Group C and have reached the knockout stages of a European Championship for the first time. They finished bottom of their group in both previous appearances (2008 & 2012).

Poland joined Italy (1980) and Germany (1996, 2016) as the only countries to not concede a goal in all three of their group fixtures at a European Championships.

Ukraine are the first team to fail to score in five consecutive EURO matches. Denmark (1988-1992 and 2000-2004) and Switzerland (1996-2004) had runs of four EURO matches in a row without a goal.

Ukraine have now lost five consecutive European Championships matches. Only Yugoslavia (6, 1968-1984) have had a longer losing streaks at the EUROs (Romania also five, 1984-1996).

Jakub Blaszczykowski became the first Polish player to score twice at the EUROs, after scoring against Russia at EURO 2012.

Blaszczykowski (two goals, two assists) has been involved in four of Poland's total of five EURO goals (the last four).

He also became the first substitute to score at the EUROs for Poland.

Blaszczykowski (82 caps including today) moved joint-seventh with Antoni Szymanowski (82) in the list of all-time Poland appearance makers.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (9) set a new outright Ukrainian record for most appearances at a major tournament (WC/ECh). He was level on eight appearances with Andri Shevchenko and Oleg Husyev.

0
0