Euro 2020: Lewandowski to the rescue against Spain as Poland keep their qualifications hopes alive

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With a defeat in the opening game against Slovakia, Poland were in desperate need of something substantial against Spain. Same was the case with La Roja; their opening fixture against Sweden ended in a goalless draw. This meant that both the sides looked for a win on the night, however, ended up sharing points.

Luis Enrique fielded a 4-3-3 with Jordi Alba as the skipper. Pedri and Koke were accompanied by Rodri in midfield, while the front line consisted of Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata, and Gerard Moreno. The Juventus striker faced a blaze of criticism after failing to convert in the previous match. This time around, he did his starting spot some justice by scoring after making an intelligent blindsided run from Moreno’s pass. Spain had 76 percent of the possession, considering which, it is safe to state that they were inefficient in making optimal use of the ball to get the much-needed goals.

Read: Poland’s Kacper Kozłowski becomes the youngest player ever to play in the European Championships

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Poland lined up in a 3-5-2 on the night, with their captain carrying the responsibility of scoring the crucial goal, after failing to register himself on the score-sheet against Slovakia. Paulo Sousa’s side struggled to hold on to the ball for most parts, but brought impact in terms of their defensive display. The all-important goal came in through a towering Lewandowski header in the second half. The Bayern Munich striker beat Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte in the aerial battle after his effort from close range was denied earlier in the game.

The clash promised drama, and didn’t fail to deliver from that standpoint. Moments after Poland’s equalizer, Spain were awarded a penalty, which was missed by Moreno as he couldn’t beat the woodwork. Morata met the rebound, but to no avail. Apart from the chance that the hosts created for the opener, they failed to subsequently threaten the opposition.

Poland face Sweden next with just a point in hand. The group leaders already have four points, and look in a comfortable spot. However, a loss might jeopardize their cause. Meanwhile, Spain, who are with two points in the 3rd spot, play Slovakia in the next fixture. A win would see them qualify to the knockout stages, same being the case for Poland.

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