Date: June 12, 2016
Result: Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland
Poland: Arkadiusz Milik 51
Venue: Allianz Riviera, Nice
Arkadiusz Milik’s drilled finish was enough to secure a deserved victory for Poland over a disappointing Northern Ireland side. Although they defended doggedly throughout and kept the dangerous Robert Lewandowski under wraps, Michael O’Neill’s side appeared not to have a Plan B whenthey fell behind.
Having missed two easier chances earlier on, Arkadiusz Milik must have been relieved to have hit the target shortly after the interval.
Man of the match:
Bartosz Kapustka was a thorn in Northern Ireland’s side throughout. The 19-year-old delivered a mature performance that belied his tender years. His cultured display will not have escaped the attention of some of Europe’s bigger clubs.
Matter of fact:
Poland’s victory was their first ever at the European Championships at the third time of asking and puts them in a strong position to reach the knockout stages for the first time.
The narrow scoreline did not refelct the balance of play in a game which Northern Ireland never looked like scoring. Poland enjoyed 60 per cent of possession and only a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal kept the game competitive.
Northern Ireland 2
Attempts on target
Northern Ireland 0
Northern Ireland 1
01 Wojciech Szczęsny (G)
02 Michal Pazdan
03 Artur Jędrzejczyk
05 Krzysztof Mączyński (06 Tomasz Jodłowiec 78′)
07 Arkadiusz Milik
09 Robert Lewandowski (C)
10 Grzegorz Krychowiak
15 Kamil Glik
16 Jakub Błaszczykowski (11 Kamil Grosicki 80′)
20 Lukasz Piszczek
21 Bartosz Kapustka (17 Sławomir Peszko 88′)
Starting formation: 4-4-1-1
Wojciech Szczęsny- Michal Pazdan, Artur Jędrzejczyk, Kamil Glik, Lukasz Piszczek – Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Krzysztof Mączyński – Bartosz Kapustka – Arkadiusz Milik – Robert Lewandowski
01 Michael McGovern (G)
02 Conor McLaughlin
03 Shane Ferguson (11 Conor Washington 66′)
04 Gareth McAuley
05 Jonny Evans
06 Chris Baird (19 Jamie Ward 76′)
08 Steven Davis (C)
10 Kyle Lafferty
16 Oliver Norwood
17 Paddy McNair (14 Stuart Dallas 46′)
20 Craig Cathcart
Starting formation: 4-2-3-1
Michael McGovern – Conor McLaughlin, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart – Shane Ferguson, Paddy McNair, Oliver Norwood, Chris Baird, Shane Ferguson – Kyle Lafferty
Poland: Bartosz Kapustka 65, Lukasz Piszczek 89.
Northern Ireland: Craig Cathcart 69.
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (Rom)