Thursday , April 18 2024

Euro 2016 – Group C: Northern Ireland upset Ukraine, Germany & Poland draw goalless!

UEFA EURO 2016The 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 2

Ukraine 0-2 (0-1) Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland scored their first-ever victory at an UEFA Euro with a surprise 2-0 against the Ukraine.

Northern Ireland, who were poor against Poland in their opener, were a transformed side with coach Michael O’Neill making as many as five changes to his starting line-up and seemed to pay off as the islanders had the first chance of the match through Stuart Dallas in the 4th minute, but then Ukraine were denied a penalty and Serhiy Sydorchuk’s attempt from far missed the target.

But thereafter whatever danger there was came from Northern Ireland with defender Craig Cathcart heading just wide and Jamie Ward’s shot saved by keeper Andriy Pyatov. Unexpectedly it was goalless at half-time.

Northern Ireland went ahead in the 49th minute when Gareth McAuley headed in a Oliver Norwood freekick, but only two minutes later Yevhen Seleznyov had a chance to equalise but his header was saved by Michael McGovern.

Shortly thereafter referee Pavel Kralovec stopped the match for a few minutes due to hail and heavy rains, and after the teams came back onto the field the Ukrainians pushed for the equalised though only having two chances through Viktor Kovalenko and Andriy Yarmolenko and then in the sixth minute of added time Northern Ireland sealed their historic win after Niall McGinn scored off a Dallas shot rebound.

The loss meant that the Ukraine are the first eliminated side at Euro 2016 then even a win against Poland would not take them past Northern Ireland on the head to head count.

Carlsberg Man of the Match: Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland) #UKRNIR

Germany 0-0 Poland

World champions Germany were held to a goalless draw by Poland in their second group match.

Both teams had a lot of respect for each other with Germany having the first chance of the game when a Julian Draxler cross was headed over by Mario Götze in the 4th minute and then Thomas Müller in the 15th minute stole the ball from Lukasz Piszcek on the left and played the ball into the middle but Toni Kroos couldn’t properly connect.

Poland stood deep and relied on counterattacks but the German central defence of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels gave little to no space to the Polish top striker Robert Lewandowski and his partner Arkadiusz Milik.

At the break it was goalless but Poland had their biggest chance just after the restart but Milik missed a sure header off a Kamil Grosicki cross and on the counter Germany had a good chance when Kroos found a free Götze on the right but his shot was saved by keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

The game now picked up pace with Poland having their best phase with Boateng and Hummels having to block Lewandowski and Milik on a number of occasions.

Germany had their problems in creating chances then except a dangerous Kroos long ranger in the 65th minute they created little, while Poland had the best chance of the game in the 69th minute when Grosicki played the ball perfectly for Milik to the penalty spot but Milik missed the ball, while at the other end a Mesut Özil shot was just about paried away by Fabianski.

Thereafter nothing much happened and the match ended goalless.

Carlsberg Man of the Match: Jerome Boateng (Germany) #GERPOL

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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