The Co-Hosts have yet to win a match, but Poland have also gone undefeated through their first two matches, with two 1-1 draws. The most exciting moment thus far? Kuba, Jakub Blaszczykowski, the Polish captain, blasting away the equalizer in the match against Russia, scoring the best and most exciting goal of the tournament so far.
There’s something a bit dogmatic in the way that Poland play. Lukasz Piszczek building the attack from the right, Kuba carrying on with it and everyone looking for Robert Lewandowski. It worked well early on against the Greeks, but after being deflated from conceding the Salpigidis equalizer, the trick seemed to run its course.
Same for the match against Russia, clearly a better side than Greece in every possible way. They dominated the first half by eliminating Poland’s usual route towards the goal, and the Polish team doesn’t seem to be one with a Plan B or anything stored in their backup. Looking confused and frustrated, they conceded in the first half through Dzagoev.
But things changed after half time. Russia became complacent, perhaps lazy, while Smuda’s team enjoyed the backing of the huge home crowd. They still tried finding Lewandowski with every attack, but more and more players joined from behind, making it a bit more easier to look for better options. After 57 minutes, came the tournament’s best goal.
Blaszczykowski broke from right to left and used his weaker, left foot, to beat Malafeev with a cracking strike that seemed to cause an eruption of emotion throughout the country.
The high pace affair which Poland dominated in the final minutes didn’t end too happily. After two 1-1 draws Poland now are forced to win against the Czech Republic or be done with tournament they’re hosting after only three group matches. Maybe now, after learning that not everything has to go through their talented striker, Smuda’s men have also found a way to finally win a match.