Blaszczykowski hands Poland last 16 spot

You are currently viewing Blaszczykowski hands Poland last 16 spot
  • Post published:June 21, 2016

Jakub Blaszczykowski secured Poland’s place in the Last 16 following their 1-0 victory over Ukraine in the Euro 2016 after finish as runners-up in Group C.

Heading into the match Ukraine have failed to score in their last four games at the European Championship, a joint-record in the history of the tournament.

Ukraine and Poland have met seven times previously, with Ukraine winning three games to Poland’s two, but this will be the first meeting between the two sides in a major tournament.

Starting off brightly Poland nearly took the lead three minutes into the match as Ajax Amsterdam striker Arkadiusz Milik had a great chance to put his side ahead, with Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov to beat, his shot deflected off the body of the Pyatov and cleared from danger.

A minute later and Robert Lewandowski wasted a great opportunity to take the lead as Milik set up the Bayern Munich striker but the misfiring striker blazed his effort over the bar.

Polish defender Michal Pazdan came to his sides rescue in the ninth minute when he made a last-ditch tackle to prevent Ukrainian forward Roman  Zozulya from opening the scoring.

A minute after having a penalty appeal turned down, Andriy Yarmolenko was played clean through on goal, with just Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabiabnski to beat, the Ukraine forward directed his effort horribly wide of goal in the 17th minute.

After Lewandowski worked himself into a yard of space in the 21st minute, the striker saw his effort deflected out for a corner.

Yevhen Konoplyanka failed to beat Fabianski after his low shot flashed wide of the post eight minutes later.

With seconds to play Tomasz Jodlowiec had a chance to hand Poland the lead before the half-time interval, but his effort was directed straight towards Pyatov.

The score remained goalless at half-time, with both Poland and Ukraine unable to make the breakthrough, both sides were evenly match with six shots a piece.

However, the Ukrainian’s had the best spell of possession in the opening half (65.5%) and making a total of 297 passes, while Poland could only manged to string together 155 passes.

As things stand Poland would go through as runners-up to Germany in Group C.

In the second-half Ukraine came out controlling the tempo of the game as Oleksandr Zinchenko headed effort at goal from a Yevhen Konoplyanka corner flew just over the bar.

Polish substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute after he did well to work himself into space inside the box, before he fired a shot into the back of the net to hand Poland a 1-0 lead.

Poland nearly double their lead three minutes later following a quick counter involving Lewandowski, who released Bartosz Kapustka clear on goal, but his effort hit the side-netting with just Pyatov to beat.

In the 63rd minute Ukraine had a chance to level the match but Konoplyanka’s effort was blazed high over the bar.

It has been a frustrating Euro 2016 campaign Poland captain Lewandowski as the striker continues to search for his first goal of the tournament.

On the 72nd minute mark, Konoplyanka had a chance for Ukraine to draw level but his low shot from the edge of the area was blocked, before Zinchenko fired high over the bar from the rebound.

Just two minutes later and Poland responded quick with a great chance to double their lead, but Milik couldn’t direct his header on target from a in-swinging cross from the touchline.

Roman Zozulya should’ve opened the scoring for Ukraine but couldn’t direct his header goal-worth following a by-line cross from Artem Fedetskiy.

Seven minutes from time and Fabianski was called into action denying Ruslan Rotan the chance to level matters after the Polish goalkeeper made a diving save to keep the Ukrainian midfielders shot out.

The match ended at with Poland availed 1-0 victors after substitute Blaszczykowski’s second-half strike sees them finish as runners-up to Germany in Group C and they will now take on Switzerland in the Last 16, while Ukraine exit the competition without a point or a goal.

PHOTO: Uefa website