Ukraine 0-1 Poland: Blaszczykowski strike wraps up runners-up spot for Poles

Poland defeated Ukraine 1-0 in Marseille to finish 2nd in Group C and advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

Ukraine 0-1 Poland: Blaszczykowski strike wraps up runners-up spot for Poles
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Ukraine: Pyatov; Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Kucher, Butko; Stepanenko, Rotan; Yarmolenko, Zinchenko (Kovalenko, min. 73), Kopnoplyanka; Zozulya (Tymoshouk, min 90+2.)
Poland: Fabianski; Cionek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Zielinski (Blaszczykowski, min. 46), Krychowiak, Jodlowiec, Kaputska (Grosicki, min. 70); Milik (Starzynski, min. 90+3), Lewandowski.
SCORE: 0-1, min. 54, Blaszczykowski.
REFEREE: Svein Oddar Moen (NOR). Booked Rotan (min. 25), Kucher (min. 38), Kaputska (min. 60).

Jakub Blaszczykowski came off the bench to settle Poland's final group game against Ukraine and send them through as group C runners-up.

Jakub the super sub

The decisive moment in this game arrived nine minutes into the second half, as Blaszczykowski who came on for Pitor Zielinski at half-time scored the only goal of the game. A clever short corner routine on the right, with Arkadiusz Milik eventually feeding Kuba in space on the right side of the box who cut inside before swinging one into the top left corner, left footed.

Flurry of chances for Poles

Poland certainly didn't have it their own way all the time in this game, but when they were on top, chances arrived in a bunch for Adam Nawalka's team. An example of this was when the front pair of Milik and Robert Lewandowski missed really good chances in the 3rd and 4th minutes.

The first opportunity for Milik, was self made as he burst into the box on the left side, but the angle was against him and he ended up hitting it straight into Andriy Pyatov's chest. Then an even better chance just a minute later as Milik played a great ball in from the left for Lewandowski who somehow turned it over the bar right footed from just six yards out.

It was another confident performance from the Poles. | Image credit: Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images
It was another confident performance from the Poles. | Image credit: Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ukraine toothless in front of goal again

With failure to score in this one, Ukraine have now set an unwanted record of being the first team to play in five straight games at the Euros and fail to score in all of them. It's easier to see why though, as they managed to create some decent chances, but were far from ruthless in front of goal.

A great example of this was when Andriy Yarmolenko was put clean through on goal in the 17th minute, only for him to put too much emphasis on his left sidefoot effort and put it wide of the far left post. The other big opportunity for Ukraine came much later in the game and fell to their bright young talent, Alexander Zinchenko.

Yevhen Konoplyanka hit one left footed from distance, which was blocked only for the ball to fall for Zinchenko who couldn't keep his nerve and blazed over left footed from only eight yards out or so. Ukraine would get another good look at goal just 10 minutes from the end through hard working striker Roman Zozulya.

It was great work in a tight space on the right by Yarmolenko who whipped in a great ball for Zozulya, however he was leaning back for his close range finish and headed just wide of the left post. Zinchenko also got a similar look when found by Konoplyanka on the left, only for him to head just over from six yards.

What's next?

Ukraine had nothing to play for coming into the match and couldn't make anything happen anyway, as for Poland they couldn't quite sneak top of the group ahead of Germany, but the runners up spot will see them take on a fellow 2nd place side in the form of Switzerland in their last 16 tie where hopefully captain Lewandowski can start to get going.