Euro 2020: Milan Skriniar strike helps Slovakia gain vital win over 10-man Poland

Slovakia's fourth win in five games against Poland was well deserved, with the players delivering excellent performances.

Milan Skriniar scored the game winner for Slovakia. (Image Credit: Twitter/@EURO2020)

Slovakia recorded their fourth win in five games against Poland, following a 2-1 triumph against the latter who were reduced to ten men. The win was recorded in a Group E encounter between the two teams in the ongoing Euro 2020. Slovakia are unbeaten in six games, winning two of them. This is their longest unbeaten run since 2015/16 where they avoided a loss in eight games. Slovakia are the first team to score twice against Poland in a Euro encounter since 8th June in 2008 when Germany recorded a 2-0 win in a group stage clash held at Klagenfurt. The nation has now recorded its second-ever win in a Euro encounter, having registered their opening win in the ongoing edition.

Defender Milan Skriniar was the hero for Slovakia, scoring his third international goal with all of them recorded in his last four appearances for the nation. Skriniar scored the winner while maintaining a resolute defensive display. He delivered a success rate of 93.8 % with regard to passing, making 10 clearances and 3 interceptions. The Inter Milan defender further chipped in with a tackle, going on to block two shots.

“We’re delighted to start the competition with a win. It was a difficult game, Poland are a quality team,” he said as quoted by UEFA.

Red card proves costly for Poland

Poland on the other hand, struggled in defence with attacker Robert Lewandoski provided very limited support as well. Grzegorz Krychowiak’s sending off further made matters worse, with a direct impact on the team’s attacking plans. They will need to pull up their socks with Spain marking their next opponents in the Euro 2020. However, they did have their moments having equalised and dominated the opening 15 minutes of the second half in a fine response, having gone down in the first half.

Slovenia broke the deadlock after just 18 minutes, having witnessed Ondrej Duda go close. Robert Mak played a crucial role, running in from the left before unleashing a shot that took one deflection, struck a post and ricocheted in off Wojciech Szczesny.

Karol Linetty turned the ball in after a neat interchange down the left channel for Poland, just 30 seconds after the interval.

Former Poland defender Michael Pazdan termed the defeat against Slovenia as a “painful” one.

“The most painful thing is that Slovakia was a team to beat. The first 15 minutes of the second half – we got into the game very well. We should score the second goal. This was that moment. The first 15 minutes of the second half,” he said.

Ex-Slovakia coach Jan Kocian hailed the players for not allowing Lewandoski room to shoot.

“For us, the most important thing is defence. Milan Skriniar put on a great performance, and he even scored. Also great performances by Satka, and midfield partners Kucka and Hromada. It was important not to let Lewandowski have chances. Our defence fulfilled their tasks.”

Marek Hamsik was another vital contributor for Slovakia, recording a 100 percent cross accuracy as well as a pass accuracy of 85 percent. The legendary footballer who made his 127th international appearance further delivered a long pass accuracy of 75 percent with 56 total touches among which four were inside the box.

Sportslumo Desk

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