Ukraine 0 v 1 Poland – Euro 2016 Group C

UKR 0:1 POL – Surprising signs of life early on from a Ukraine side that has been extremely disappointing so far in this tournament. A terrific burst of pace from an inspired Yevhen Konoplyanka created some pace in front of the Polish defence. He neatly found 19-year old Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose piercing through ball was perfectly weighted for Roman Zozulya to finish, however the Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk forward’s shot was blocked rigorously by Legia Warsaw‘s Michał Pazdan. More effective play from Zozulya saw a flicked ball sent through to Dynamo Kyiv‘s Andriy Yarmolenko but his finish was poor, spraying the ball wide for 10 yards. It has been a dreadful tournament for Yarmolenko who has failed to match up to his manager Mykhaylo Fomenko‘s challenge before the tournament. Ukraine controlled the game across the park, dominating possession and not allowing Poland any space in the final third. It was a horrible showing from “The White Eagles” in the first half – a miscued strike from a misfiring Robert Lewandowski was their only real effort of note. Adam Nawałka reacted to a poor Polish display in the first half by sending on pivotal playmaker Jakub Błaszczykowski at half time. Much more adventurous after the break, Poland didn’t take long to make their quality show. It was the Fiorentina man Blaszczykowski who had an immediate impact. A lovely reverse pass from young Ajax forward Arkadiusz Milik found Blaszczykowski in space in the penally area, his brilliant turn and curled shot flying past a helpless Andriy Pyatov in the Ukraine goal. It was a flash of brilliance from the Poles who have been inconsistent at best in the competition. Capable of more than they have shown so far, it will be interesting to see if they grow into the tournament in the knockout stages as they go on to face Switzerland in the last 16. Ukraine go home without a goal, a point, and frankly without any pride in a similar fashion to four years ago on their own turf. Only Zozulya and Zinchenko can hold their heads high, while it is also worth mentioning a late appearance from Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who won his 144th cap and will most certainly announce his retirement to take his place as the most important Ukraine footballer in history.

Man of the match: Roman Zozulya
Best: Roman ZozulyaOleksandr ZinchenkoArkadiusz MilikJakub BłaszczykowskiBartosz Kapustka

#Euro2016 #UKRvPOL


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