Euro 2020: Skriniar Seals Shock Slovakia Win Over Poland

REUTERS

Milan Skriniar's superb second-half strike gave Slovakia a surprise win to start their Euro 2020 campaign as they overcame 10-man Poland 2-1 in St Petersburg.

Seen as the likely whipping boys of Group E, Slovakia were out of the blocks significantly quicker than Poland and took the lead thanks to great work from Robert Mak that led to Wojciech Szczesny becoming the first goalkeeper to score an own goal at a European Championship.

Poland levelled soon after half-time through Karol Linetty, but the game turned on the dismissal of midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Slovakia made the most of their extra man as Skriniar, who did an excellent job keeping Robert Lewandowski quiet, had a decisive impact at the other end with a fine 69th-minute effort.

Ondrej Duda hit the side-netting with the game's first half-chance before Mak produced the opener out of nothing with a wonderful individual run.

With the ball on the left-hand side with Kamil Jozwiak and Bartosz Bereszynski for company, Mak nutmegged the latter and surged into the box before seeing his shot bounce off the post and then Szczesny and into the net.

Juraj Kucka bent an effort narrowly over the bar from long range as Slovakia continued to look the more composed in front of goal, with Krychowiak's ambitious effort the best Poland could muster in the first half.

But just 32 seconds into the second half Poland were level, Linetty netting the second-fastest second-half goal scored in a European Championship game (Marcel Coras - 21 seconds for Romania v Germany in 1984) as his scuffed finish beat Martin Dubravka following impressive link-up play between Mateusz Klich and Maciej Rybus.

Poland dictated the contest thereafter until the 62nd minute when Krychowiak saw red, receiving a second yellow after pulling back Jakub Hromada.

And the 10 men were subsequently punished in style by Skriniar, who controlled Marek Hamsik's flick-on from Mak's corner before producing an unerring finish into the bottom-left corner that sealed Slovakia's second European Championship win as an independent nation.


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