The 2016 UEFA European Championships is being played across France from June 10 to July 10 for the first time with 24 nations across 10 venues in nine cities with the French capital Paris being the only city with two venues in the Stade de France and the Park de Prince.
The defending double champions are Spain, who are three time record champions along with Germany.
GROUP C – Matchday 1
Poland 1-0 (0-0) Northern Ireland
Favourites Poland were given a tough time by debutants Northern Ireland, who up to the 51st minute were able to keep a clean sleet before Arkadiusz Milik scored the only goal of the game to seal the three points for Poland, surprisingly their first ever win at the UEFA Euro’s.
Northern Ireland were under pressure from the start but Poland with all their domination has few chances with especially Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski not really in the game and the few chances Poland had were either off target or Michael McGovern was in the way.
After taking the lead, Poland didn’t press for a second goal and that allowed Northern Ireland to stay in the game though they never really had a chance and the game ended 1-0 in favour of Poland.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Grzegorz Krychowiak (Poland) #POLNIR
Germany 2-0 (1-0) Ukraine
FIFA World Cup winners Germany made a success start to their Euro 2016 campaign with a 2-0 win over the Ukraine through goals from Shkodran Mustafi and substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger.
After a Julian Draxler half-chance for Germany, the Ukraine’s Yevhen Konoplyanka tested keeper Manuel Neuer in the 5th minute of a match with a quick start, but thereafter things cooled down at both ends.
In the 19th minute a Toni Kroos freekick was headed in by Shkodran Mustafi to give Germany the lead. Then the goalies once more were at the center of attraction with Manuel Neuer denying a goal for a Yevhen Khacheridi header, while at the other end Andriy Pyatov denied Sami Khedira on a counter.
In the 37th minute Jerome Boateng made the clearance of the tournament so far against Konoplyanka’s shot, while he got against his thigh and while falling backwards cleared the ball just ahead of the goalline. Just brilliant what Boateng did to keep Germany ahead going into the break after the Ukraine had pressed hard against the world champions.
In the second half, Germany again got the control of the game back with Kroos’ screamer touching the crossbar in the 52nd minute but then Manuel Neuer having to clear a well taken freekick from Yaroslav Rakitskiy in the 57th minute.
Thereafter the Ukraine had to pay the price for the high tempo of the game, but Germany could just not finish off the game with Khedira, Draxler, substitute Andre Schürrle and Mesut Özil missing good chances or Pyatov standing in their way.
Germany nearly paid the price for this as a Shkodran Mustafi header backwards went past Manuel Neuer but luckily missed the German goal. In the 90th minute captain Bastian Schweinsteiger entered the field to get a few minutes under the belt, but he not only got that, he made Germany’s win certain with a strong finish off a lovely counter via Mustafi, Schürrle and a cross from Özil.
In the end Germany go home with a deserving 2-0 win and their opponents will know, the world champions aren’t at their best yet but ready to push for the title.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Toni Kroos (Germany) #GERUKR