European Championship - Group E
PolandPoland1SlovakiaSlovakia2

Poland 1-2 Slovakia: Milan Skriniar scores winning goal in Euro 2020 Group E opener

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport

Slovakia gained a shock victory over 10-man Poland in their European Championship Group E opener in St Petersburg.

Milan Skriniar's fine low shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area secured the three points for Slovakia, a country ranked 36th in the world.

They had taken an early lead when the ball bounced off the post and rebounded in off Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after a fine run and shot from Robert Mak.

A lovely one-touch move, calmly finished by Karol Linetty, brought the Poles level early in the second half.

But the 62nd-minute dismissal of Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak for a second booking changed the momentum of the match and Skriniar and Slovakia took full advantage seven minutes later.

They lead Group E after the first round of matches following Spain's goalless draw with Sweden later on Monday.

Poland reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, losing to eventual winners Portugal on penalties, and now need to beat either Spain or Sweden to have a chance of progressing.

Slovakia's Ondrej Duda fired wide early on, but his country went ahead thanks to fine work from Ferencvaros forward Mak, who helped Manchester City win the FA Youth Cup in 2008 but never played a senior game for them.

There appeared to be no danger when Mak collected the ball near the left wing, but a fine turn took him past Kamil Jozwiak and a nutmeg on Bartosz Bereszynski got him into the area, where his low strike hit the foot of the post but rebounded in off the unfortunate Szczesny.

It continued a bizarre run of bad luck for the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper in European Championship openers, after he was sent off in Poland's first game of Euro 2012 and went off injured at the beginning of Euro 2016.

Poland failed to have a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, but were level within a minute of the restart.

A brilliant passing move down the left involving Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich and Maciej Rubus saw the latter pull it back for Linetty and he side-footed the ball into the net.

Poland looked to build on that equaliser, but Krychowiak's dismissal left them on the back foot.

Robert Lewandowski had scored 48 goals for Bayern Munich in the 2020-21 season, but was kept quiet by a superb display from the Slovakia defence.

Therefore, it was fitting the superb Skriniar, in a game where he also made 10 clearances, three interceptions and two blocks, would become Slovakia's hero when he took down a poor Poland clearance and drilled in the winner.

Slovakia reached the last 16 of Euro 2016 and this victory leaves them well placed to reach the knockout stage again.

What's next?

Slovakia stay in St Petersburg and face Sweden on Friday, 18 June (14:00 BST), before Poland play against Spain in Seville on Saturday (20:00), with both matches live on the BBC.

Player of the match

SkriniarMilan Skriniar

with an average of 7.65

Poland

  1. Squad number14Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    6.94

  2. Squad number8Player nameLinetty
    Average rating

    5.77

  3. Squad number9Player nameLewandowski
    Average rating

    5.71

  4. Squad number20Player nameZielinski
    Average rating

    5.66

  5. Squad number21Player nameJozwiak
    Average rating

    5.58

  6. Squad number5Player nameBednarek
    Average rating

    5.51

  7. Squad number15Player nameGlik
    Average rating

    5.42

  8. Squad number13Player nameRybus
    Average rating

    5.30

  9. Squad number18Player nameBereszynski
    Average rating

    5.04

  10. Squad number16Player nameModer
    Average rating

    4.81

  11. Squad number10Player nameKrychowiak
    Average rating

    4.61

  12. Squad number26Player namePuchacz
    Average rating

    4.50

  13. Squad number19Player nameFrankowski
    Average rating

    4.36

  14. Squad number1Player nameSzczesny
    Average rating

    4.32

  15. Squad number11Player nameSwiderski
    Average rating

    4.30

Slovakia

  1. Squad number14Player nameSkriniar
    Average rating

    7.65

  2. Squad number8Player nameDuda
    Average rating

    7.09

  3. Squad number20Player nameMak
    Average rating

    6.92

  4. Squad number1Player nameDúbravka
    Average rating

    6.89

  5. Squad number19Player nameKucka
    Average rating

    6.57

  6. Squad number2Player namePekarík
    Average rating

    6.47

  7. Squad number5Player nameSatka
    Average rating

    6.46

  8. Squad number15Player nameHubocan
    Average rating

    6.44

  9. Squad number17Player nameHamsik
    Average rating

    6.33

  10. Squad number25Player nameHromada
    Average rating

    6.27

  11. Squad number18Player nameHaraslín
    Average rating

    6.24

  12. Squad number6Player nameGregus
    Average rating

    6.18

  13. Squad number10Player nameSuslov
    Average rating

    6.14

  14. Squad number21Player nameDuris
    Average rating

    6.04

  15. Squad number13Player nameHrosovsky
    Average rating

    5.90

  16. Squad number24Player nameKoscelnik
    Average rating

    5.79

Line-ups

Poland

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Szczesny
  • 18Bereszynski
  • 15Glik
  • 5Bednarek
  • 10KrychowiakBooked at 62mins
  • 21Jozwiak
  • 14KlichSubstituted forModerat 85'minutes
  • 8LinettySubstituted forFrankowskiat 74'minutes
  • 13RybusSubstituted forPuchaczat 74'minutes
  • 9Lewandowski
  • 20ZielinskiSubstituted forSwiderskiat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Dawidowicz
  • 4Kedziora
  • 6Kozlowski
  • 11Swiderski
  • 12Skorupski
  • 16Moder
  • 17Placheta
  • 19Frankowski
  • 22Fabianski
  • 24Swierczok
  • 25Helik
  • 26Puchacz

Slovakia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 2PekaríkSubstituted forKoscelnikat 79'minutes
  • 5Satka
  • 14Skriniar
  • 15HubocanBooked at 20mins
  • 19Kucka
  • 25HromadaSubstituted forHrosovskyat 79'minutes
  • 18HaraslínSubstituted forDurisat 87'minutes
  • 17Hamsik
  • 20MakSubstituted forSuslovat 87'minutes
  • 8DudaSubstituted forGregusat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Vavro
  • 6Gregus
  • 7Weiss
  • 10Suslov
  • 11Bénes
  • 12Kuciak
  • 13Hrosovsky
  • 16Hancko
  • 21Duris
  • 22Lobotka
  • 23Rodák
  • 24Koscelnik
Referee:
Ovidiu Hategan
Attendance:
12,862

Match Stats

Home TeamPolandAway TeamSlovakia
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Poland 1, Slovakia 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Poland 1, Slovakia 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Karol Swiderski (Poland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Robert Lewandowski.

  4. Post update

    Kamil Jozwiak (Poland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ján Gregus (Slovakia).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Slovakia. Ján Gregus replaces Ondrej Duda.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jan Bednarek (Poland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Przemyslaw Frankowski with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Tymoteusz Puchacz (Poland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Juraj Kucka (Slovakia).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Jakub Moder with a cross following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Poland. Conceded by Juraj Kucka.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Slovakia. Tomás Suslov replaces Róbert Mak.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Slovakia. Michal Duris replaces Lukás Haraslín.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Poland. Karol Swiderski replaces Piotr Zielinski.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Poland. Jakub Moder replaces Mateusz Klich.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tymoteusz Puchacz (Poland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Poland. Conceded by Lubomír Satka.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Przemyslaw Frankowski (Poland).

  19. Post update

    Milan Skriniar (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Tymoteusz Puchacz (Poland).

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