Ukraine 0-1 Poland
A second half Jakub Blaszczykowski goal was all that separated Ukraine and Poland this evening in Marseille as the Poles progress into the last 16 while Ukraine head home after three straight defeats.
Poland could easily have taken the lead inside the first five minutes as Arkadiusz Milik shot straight at goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov when through and Robert Lewandowski, the leading scorer from any country in the qualifying competition, side-footed wide with the goal at his mercy. Ukraine looked shell-shocked but, unlike in their previous two 2-0 defeats by Germany and Northern Ireland, they settled down, got stuck in and should have scored themselves when Andriy Yarmolenko bore down on Lukasz Fabianski but then blazed wide.A goalless draw would have been enough for Poland to progress regardless of whatever happened in the other game but their grip on second place was strengthened when Germany went ahead against Northern Ireland after half an hour and some of the intensity went out of their approach.They looked fired up again after the break and an incisive inside pass by Milik sent Blaszczykowski through and the substitute beat a defender before hooking the ball firmly beyond Andriy Pyatov. Bartosz Kapustka should have doubled the lead two minutes later but shot wide from close range.
Poland then sat back and allowed Ukraine to have more possession, unleash a few pot-shots and force some desperate last-ditch Polish tackles, they never really threatened an equaliser. Ukraine head home without a point or a goal and are now without a coach after Mykhailo Fomenko announced before the game that he would step down.Poland however march on into the unknown and will have every belief that they can beat Switzerland.
Man of the Match – Ruslan Rotan (Ukraine)
- Viktor Kovalenko replaces Oleksandr Zinchenko 73 mins
- Anatoli Tymoschuk replaces Roman Zozulya 90+ mins
- Jakub Blaszczykowski replaces Piotr Zielinski 46 mins
- Kamil Grosicki replaces Bartosz Kapustka 71 mins
- Filip Starzynski replaces Arkadiusz Milik 90+ mins
Ukraine – Ruslan Rotan,Oleksandr Kucher.
Poland – Bartosz Kapustka.