As it happened: Poland v Russia, Euro 2012

In what was tense encounter, the co-hosts faced a crucial match to keep their hopes of staying in the tournament in their hands.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below. You may need to refresh the page for YouTube videos and other elements to display correctly.

Poland 1-1 Russia (FT)

Here are your teams:

Poland: Tyton, Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch, Dudka, Polanski, Blaszczykowski, Murawski, Obraniak, Lewandowski. Subs: Sandomierski, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski, Matuszczyk, Rybus, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki, Brozek.

Russia: Malafeev, Aniukov, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Shirokov, Denisov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Arshavin. Subs: Akinfeev, Sharonov, Izmailov, Pavlyuchenko, Kombarov, Kokorin, Granat, Pogrebnyak, Nababkin, Glushakov, Semshov, Shunin.

Of course, there’s already been one game in Group A this evening. You can check out how it transpired here.

The Russian anthem has been getting some serious love on Twitter:

And we’re off…

Russia have started the better of the two teams, enjoying the majority of the possession, and their dominance draws widespread booing from the largely Polish crowd.

They’ve yet to really carve out a clear-cut opening though.

A dangerous inswinging free-kick is met by the head of Boenisch, who forces a reaction save Malafeev.

Not sure how much the Russian stopper knew about that – it seemed to be an instinctive save more than anything.

While Russia started impressively, they look susceptible to being caught on the counter-attack, as their opponents have threatened on at least two or three occasions now.

Despite many people suggesting Russia were the most impressive team of all in the aftermath of the opening round, they don’t exactly look defensively sound at the moment.

Russia are obviously the technically superior side. Their have shown impressive composure and patience on the ball so far, which is not dissimilar to the Spanish style of play.

Though like Spain on occasion against Italy, they also occasionally seem guilty of playing one too many passes, when a more direct approach is necessary.

Despite their lack of chances however, Russia will be happy that they’ve controlled this game for the most part.

Some slick passing by the Polish ends with Polanski being played through.

He confidently slots the ball into the net, but is correctly adjudged to be offside, as the replays prove.

It’s a fascinating contest so far, as Poland continually to look threatening in the final third. Though their more direct approach is less easier on the eye, it is arguably proving to be more effective to the Russians’ stylish but all-too-languid build-up.

However, as I type, Arshavin shows decent skill to evade his marker and produce a pinpoint cross for Kerzhakov, who heads it marginally wide.

Kerzhakov goes on an impressive run, beating two Polish defenders, before blazing the ball well over the bar from just outside the area, consequently epitomising the absence of a cutting edge from the Russian attack so far.


“A moment of genius,” says the hyperbole-prone George Hamilton.

In truth it was a rather straightforward goal, with a dangeous free-kick finding Dzagoev, who heads it just over the keeper and into the net from close range.

It’s ironic, given the elaborate build-up of most of Russia’s attacks, that they’ve ultimately scored in the simplest of circumstances.

Poland are in danger of completely losing control of this game, with a desperate last-ditch clearance from a cross preventing the waiting Kerzhakov from adding to Russia’s lead, with what would have been an easy tap-in.

Poland are beginning to look seriously vulnerable, as Russia break with speed and renewed confidence following that all-important opening goal.

A lofted cross is hit towards Dzagoev, and the goalscorer is seemingly impeded by an onrushing defender. However, the referee contentiously awards the decision in the defender’s favour, giving Poland a free kick.


So at half-time Russia lead, and it’s probably just about deserved on the balance on play.

Though Poland initially appeared to be the more incisive of the two sides in attack, Russia always showed superior technique and their dominance in possession gradually wore the Poles down.

The fact that the co-hosts have some impressive players in attack means they are capable of creating chances and renders it difficult to rule them out of this game, but Russia are undoubtedly in pole position.

The longer the game goes on, the more tired Poland are likely to become, given how hard they had to work to win the ball in that first half.

You may have noticed that there’s a player by the name of Eugen Polanski on the Poland team. I wonder if he’s any relation to the maker of the classic film below, amongst many others:

YouTube credit:

The second half is underway…

Chance for Poland immediately. Lewandowski rounds Malafeev, but drags it too far wide, and the keeper recovers in time to parry the ball out for a corner.

Shirokov finds himself deep in Polish territory, but he can’t find Dzagoev, who looked set to add to his tally if the cross had been more accurate.

Down the other end, brave goalkeeping from Malafeev enables him to get the ball and clear it just ahead of Lewandowski.

The breakneck pace of the first half has continued, and Poland hardly look as deflated as they did at the end of the opening period, following that Russian goal.


Has Blaszczykowski just scored the goal of the tournament?

After Arshavin carelessly concedes possession and walks away in disgust down one end, Poland break quickly and a through ball is played to Blaszczykowski, who only takes one touch before blasting an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. Game on!

All credit to Poland, who have shown great character to get back into this game, after appearing to be on the verge of a total collapse at the end of that first half.

Here’s another look at the goal that has just been scored:

YouTube credit:

And here is the Russia goal from earlier:

YouTube credit:

On a sidenote, the goal was a perfect illustration of the infuriating nature of Arshavin. He did brilliantly to accelerate away from his marker, before playing a poor pass, which allowed Poland to launch the counter-attack from which they scored.

Moreover, his reluctance to chase back served to highlight his weakness from a defensive viewpoint.

Meanwhile, Good interplay from Kerzhakov and Zyryanov, causes the latter to force the keeper into a diving save.

And down the other end, Malafeev’s feet prevent Polanski from scoring from a difficult angle.

Pavlyuchenko has replaced a visibly disappointed Kerzhakov, who shakes his head as he departs the field.

And for Poland, Mierzejewski comes on for Dudka.

Despite seemingly running themselves into the ground in that first half, it is now Poland who are looking the stronger side with fifteen minutes remaining, possibly buoyed by the extra adrenaline that the overwhelming home support is helping to provide.

Russia, in contrast, would probably take a point at this stage.

The goalscorer, Dzagoev, has come off for Izmailov, as Russia look to quell the increasingly prominent Polish attack.

Polanski limps off and is replaced by Matuszczyk.

If Poland don’t get a winner in these last few minutes, they’ll need to beat the Czechs in their final game.

The game is currently being played at close to walking pace, which is unsurprising, given the high tempo at which it’s been played for most of the 90 minutes.

Three minutes of added time to be played, as Zhirkov gets to the by-line, but there is a conspicuous lack of Russian bodies for him to pick out in the box.

One of my staple Championship Manager signings, Pawel Brozek, has just replaced Obraniak, who kicks a water bottle furiously as he leaves the field.


A game of two halves, as the cliché goes. Russia’s superior technical ability enabled them to gain a deserved lead in the first half, before Poland, with their passionate support behind them, came back strongly in the second half, and were ultimately slightly unlucky not to win it, given the amount of chances they had.

Both sides, however, will be relatively happy with the result. Russia now only need a draw to progress against Greece, who are ostensibly the weakest team in the group. While Poland will surely be confident of beating the Czechs, having seen them capitulate in the opening game against the Russians.

(Some Poland/Scream fans watch the action – AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

Alright that’s it from me for now. Thanks for reading and commenting, and don’t forget to join us again tomorrow for our liveblogs of both Group B games.

Read: As it happened: Greece v Czech Republic, Euro 2012>

Read: VIDEO: Brawls erupt before Poland-Russia Euro 2012 game>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.