Germany and Poland play out Euro 2016’s first goalless draw in underwhelming clash
Lee Gormley | June 16, 2016
Germany 0-0 Poland
- Neither side created any real chances as first first-half ended goalless
- Second-half produced more excitement as both sides finally found their flow
- Arkadiusz Milik missed several clear-cut chances to open scoring
- Both nations had to settle for a point in this Group C clash
- Match ends in a goalless stalemate at Stade de France
Germany and Poland settle for draw
World champions Germany and long-standing rivals Poland played out an underwhelming 0-0 draw at the Stade de France, with neither nation having been clinical enough to secure maximum points in this Euro 2016 Group C encounter.
In what had been dubbed a battle between two attack-minded countries, both sides found it difficult to create any clear-cut opportunities, with the stalemate seeing Poland remain top of the group and Germany just behind on goal difference.
Ajax hitman Arkadiusz Milik had started the tournament in fine fashion against Northern Ireland last time out, but the Polish attacker suffered a miserable evening in his second showing, missing several promising chances, while Germany failed to utilise their wealth of attacking talent positively.
Future teammates Lewandowski and Hummels battle
Both nations started proceedings on the back of opening victories and knew three points here would seal their progression to the knockout stage. With just 40 seconds gone it almost threatened to boil over immediately, with Sami Khedira catching Krzysztof Maczynski with an elbow before a coming together between both sets of players.
After things had cooled down, a lovely inswinging delivery from Julian Draxler on the left flank found makeshift centre forward Mario Gotze in the centre, but the Bayern Munich attacker couldn’t keep his header below Lukasz Fabianski’s crossbar.
With 14 minutes gone Poland’s main marksman Robert Lewandowski forced future Bayern teammate Mats Hummels into a rare mistake, as he lost out on the way back to goal but was fortunate to see the striker’s pass come to nothing.
Ajax frontman Milik had struck the winner over Northern Ireland first time out for the Polish, potentially putting himself in the shop window this summer, and he was beginning to look threatening at the Stade de France again. The young forward picked out Lewandowski in a dangerous position after 21 minutes, though the move was swiftly swallowed up by Hummels and Benedikt Howedes.
Milik spurns glorious chance
Neither side had managed to register a shot on target within the opening half an hour in Saint-Denis as both Swansea City stopper Fabianski and Germany number one Manuel Neuer went the first 45 minutes without being under any real danger of conceding, despite a wealth of attacking talent on display.
The lack of clear-cut opportunities and big incidents was echoed by the fact there was no additional time in the opening half, but instantly in the second period a glorious chance was presented to Poland’s Milik.
Kamil Grosicki found space on the right wing and brilliantly crossed into the six-yard box for Milik, but the usually deadly attacker somehow managed to send his header wide left of Neuer’s posts, giving the Germans a wake-up call.
Munich poacher Thomas Muller had so far failed to score in any European Championship game in his career and that run continued on 53 minutes, when the lurking Bundesliga hitman saw his attempts thwarted by a well-timed challenge from Maczynski in the box.
Further opportunities for Poland’s attackers
Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak charged forward in search of an opening for the Poles on the eve on the hour mark and he was able to win a free-kick in a promising area, though Milik’s effort was sent narrowly wide.
Lewandowski had the laid the ball off for his strike partner in that previous set-piece but he found himself with his own opportunity soon after, closing in on goal but his run came to an abrupt end with a great sliding tackle from clubmate Jerome Boateng.
Muller had come into the France finals on the back of his most prolific club season to date, having dispatched 31 goals in all competitions, and he was switched to the central role after 67 minutes, as Andre Schurrle came on to replace Gotze and take up a wide position.
Grosicki and Milik linked up brilliantly swiftly after that change and the latter forward was gifted another chance to strike at Neuer, but he was unable to repeat those heroics against Northern Ireland, instead swinging at air and messing his shot up completely.
First no score draw at Euro 2016
With just under 20 minutes to go, Joachim Low thrust Mario Gomez into the action to help boost his attacking force, and the Fiorentina-owned frontman, who spent this past season on loan with Besiktas, was a stronger presence up top but still couldn’t help find a breakthrough.
Milik was continuing to endure a frustrating night on French soil, overrunning the ball with less than 10 minutes to go and seeing his side’s attack come to and, adding to the misery of his earlier missed chances.
A promising free-kick for the Poles in the latter stages looked likely of finding the breakthrough, as they tossed centre backs Michal Pazdan and Kamil Glik forward to contest in the air, but Grosicki instead opted to shoot and sent his effort sailing well over.
Both nations had to settle for a point in this Group C clash and it’s Poland who remained top of the standings on goal difference following such a result, though Germany are still seen as the 4/1 second-favourites with Coral for overall success this summer.