Euro 2012 day five analysis: Blaszczykowski stuns Russia

The night after Andriy Shevchenko sent Ukraine into raptures with his two goals in their win over Sweden, fellow co-hosts Poland found their hero in the shape of Jakub Blaszczykowski.

With the Poles 1-0 down to bitter rivals Russia, captain Blaszczykowski cut in from the right to arrow a thunderous left-footed finish past goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.

Blaszczykowski's strike earned Poland a point, strengthening their push for a place in the quarter-finals. Poland will reach the last eight if they beat the Czech Republic in their final Group A game.

BBC pundits Pat Nevin and Mick McCarthy reflect on the goal of the tournament so far.

Pat Nevin

Pat Nevin on Radio 5 live

"What a fantastic goal, what a fantastic break. Russia went forward quickly and left a massive gap in midfield.

"There was a period where the home fans didn't think they could get an equaliser - that lifted them and the noise inside the stadium was deafening.

"At half-time we talked about Poland needing to score early in the second half and it sounded like a cliche. But there's a reason why cliches are used - sometimes they come true. And it came true tonight.

"Poland deserved that draw - there was much more about them in the second half."

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy on Match of the Day

"It's just such a great goal. He cut in on his left foot and absolutely nailed it. It's a thing of beauty, a fabulous and deserved equaliser for the way they started the second half. Everything about it is top class and no-one was stopping it, Russia or whoever.

"Andrey Arshavin could have killed the game at the other end and Poland broke and scored."

Poland's draw with Russia in numbers

Top shooters

Poland

  • Jakub Blaszczykowski 3 (2 on target)
  • Robert Lewandowski 3 (1)
  • Sebastian Boenisch 2 (1)

Russia

  • Alexander Kerzhakov 4 (0)
  • Alan Dzagoev 3 (2)

Source: Opta

  • Russia enjoyed 60.2% of possession, but only had 11 attempts on goal compared to Poland's 15
  • Six of Poland's attempts were in target, while Russia only had two on target, both by goalscorer Alan Dzagoev
  • Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov has taken 11 shots at Euro 2012, but has yet to hit the target
  • Blaszczykowski made 31 passes, 67.7% of which were successful
  • Russia played 564 passes compared to Poland's 352
  • The game's top eight passers were all Russian, with Igor Denisov leading the way on 107. Poland's top passer, Ludovic Obraniak was 64 behind on 43
  • The draw means Poland are still without a win in the five games they have played at European Championship finals (three draws and two losses)
  • The result also extends Russia's unbeaten run to 16 games

Who is Jakob Blaszczykowski?

  • The 26-year-old midfielder is the captain of his country
  • Made his debut for Poland in 2006 and has since won more than 50 caps
  • Blaszczykowski is one of three players in the Poland squad who play their club football at German side Borussia Dortmund, along with Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek
  • His uncle Jerzy Brzeczek is a former captain of Poland
  • As an 11-year-old he witnessed his father stab his mother to death

What they said about Blaszczykowski's goal:

"Wonderful goal! Inspirational story!" - Gary Lineker on Twitter. 

"People thought my left foot was weaker but I didn't take as many risks in the past." - Jakub Blaszczykowski

"Our first game was 4-1, and then this second game was like an away game, and there was this beautiful equaliser." - Russia coach Dick Advocaat

"It was my dream that we didn't lose and we didn't lose." - Poland coach Franciszek Smuda

"It's a fantastic run, he takes the full-back away and cuts inside. It was a fantastic finish, and Poland deserved it." - Robbie Savage