Ukraine 0-1 Poland: Substitute fires Poles into the last 16

Jakub Blaszczykowski  scores Poland's winner against Ukraine. Picture: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Jakub Blaszczykowski scores Poland's winner against Ukraine. Picture: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Share this article
0
Have your say

A brilliantly worked goal by substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski sent Poland through to the last 16 of Euro 2016 with 
victory over Ukraine in Marseille.

Blaszczykowski beat Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov after 
a sharp series of one-touch passes following a 
short corner in the 54th minute.

The win sent the Poles through behind Group C leaders Germany, while already-doomed Ukraine will now exit the tournament pointless and 
goalless.

Ukraine coach Mykhailo Fomenko, who had indicated he will quit after the tournament, made five changes to his starting line-up, but the Poles dominated the opening exchanges.

Arkadiusz Milik found space on the left in the third minute and cut inside before bringing a fine save out of Pyatov with a powerful shot.

Ukraine slowly began to edge into the game and had their first chance in the tenth minute when Roman Zozulya’s close-range shot was brilliantly blocked by Michal Pazdan, and Andriy Yarmolenko missed the follow-up. 
Yarmolenko proved one of his side’s few attacking threats and he came close again six minutes 
later when he sprinted into space on the right flank only to loft his shot wide.

Poland went ahead in the 54th minute when Blaszczykowski, fresh from replacing Piotr Zielinski at the break, finished off a superb move to book his side’s place in the knockout stages.

Bartosz Kapustka should have increased Poland’s lead two minutes later when he was put clear by Robert Lewandowski, but shot into the side-netting.

But Poland’s victory was marred by a needless booking for Kapustka on the hour mark, his foul on Yarmolenko ensuring he will be suspended for their last-16 match against Switzerland on Saturday.

Vainly seeking to salvage something from a dismal tournament, Ukraine pressed in the dying minutes, with Zozulya heading just wide and Ruslan Rotan bringing a fine low save out of Lukasz Fabianski, but their efforts came to 
nothing.

UKRAINE: Pyatov, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Kucher, Butko, Rotan, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Zinchenko (Kovalenko 73), Konoplyanka, Zozulya (Tymoschuk 90). Subs Not Used: Boyko, Seleznyov, Shevchuk, Budkivskiy, Sydorchuk, Rybalka, Garmash, Rakitskiy, Karavayev, Shevchenko.

POLAND: Fabianski, Cionek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Zielinski (Blaszczykowski 46), Jodlowiec, Krychowiak, Kapustka (Grosicki 71), Milik (Starzynski 90), Lewandowski. Subs Not Used: Szczesny, Maczynski, Linetty, Stepinski, Wawrzyniak, Peszko, Salamon, Piszczek, Boruc.