POLAND captain Robert Lewandowski reckons tomorrow’s Euro 2016 showdown with Scotland is more important than beating the World Cup winners.
Poland 2-0 Germany
Scorers: Poland - Milik (51), Mila (88)
The Poles are still recovering from an almighty celebration after they defeated Germany for the first time in their history thanks to two breakaway second-half goals by Arkadiusz Milik and substitute Sebastian Mila.
That second goal at the death sparked off enormous scenes of jubilation in Warsaw’s National Stadium, but Bayern Munich hitman Lewandowski – who actually had a disappointing night by his high standards – has warned his team-mates the victory will count for nothing if they slip up against the Scots at the same venue.
He said: “We made history, but it’s still only three points. If we lose against Scotland, we will have only picked up three points from the two matches and that’s not enough.
“There is no secret that Germany will win this group easily and our biggest rival for second place is Scotland. So that’s why it is so important we beat them on Tuesday.
“I thought we were very effective against Germany. Okay, we did not create many opportunities, but when we had those chances, we took them.We have to take a great deal of confidence from that – that’s what happens when you beat the world champions. Possibly, we gave Germany too much respect at first, but with each passing minute, I thought ‘hang on, we can win this match and make history’. And we did.”
Germany will still be wondering quite how they lost this match though.
They battered Poland for large spells of the game and missed a host of chances, particularly just before the half-time whistle.
Bayer Leverkusen debut boy Karim Bellarabi missed a hat-trick of opportunities, Thomas Müller had a nightmare and Mats Hummels should have scored too. Their night was summed up when substitute Lukas Podolski smashed a volley against the bar at the end.
The Poles defended brilliantly, with Torino stopper Kamil Glik having an absolute stormer. Steven Naismith and Steven Fletcher will have their work cut out tomorrow trying to get past him.
But when Manuel Neuer made a rare error of judgement to allow Milik to nod the ball over him to concede his first goal in 705 minutes since Ikechi Anya netted against him for Scotland in Dortmund, the home fans sensed a huge upset.
And Mila’s late breakaway goal sealed a massive win for the Poles.
Germany’s Arsenal striker Podolski admitted: “We played much worse against Scotland and got the win.
“The Poles scored twice from counter attacks and we must look at what went wrong.”
Polish boss Adam Nawalka was given a standing ovation by ecstatic Polish journalists when he arrived to give his post-match thoughts after the game.
And he made clear his focus is now on Scotland.
He said: “Possession is over-rated! We are very pleased with the result, but now we must think about Scotland.
“Our aim remains qualification from this group. We have six points out of six and we want nine out of nine after we play Scotland.
“We spent a long time constructing a careful tactical plan to beat the world champions and I have to give my players enormous credit for carrying out those instructions perfectly.”
Germany boss Joachim Löw is hoping for a reaction from his shell-shocked players when they face Ireland in Gelsenkirchen tomorrow.
He said: “One little thing went wrong – we were too wasteful with our chances. The finishing touch was missing, that’s why we did not score a goal.
“But I was absolutely satisfied with our style of play. We created many chances and Poland scored with their first dangerous attack.
“After a loss you must look for a reaction. We have to get our strength back and we must win the match on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland will play in the same way, they will be playing defensively.”
Löw started without an out-and-out striker on Saturday and with attacking midfielder Müller up front.
With only one natural forward – Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Max Kruse, was in the squad but on the bench on Saturday – Löw will have to come up with a more effective plan if they are to beat Ireland in Gelsenkirchen.
“We just failed to score and given the number of chances we had it was a joke,” Germany defender Mats Hummels lamented.