Poland stun Germany to throw Group D wide open

Poland stun Germany to throw Group D wide open

Poland 2 Germany 0

Ireland's group rivals Poland recorded an historic first win over Germany with a hard-earned 2-0 victory in their Euro 2016 Group D qualifier in Warsaw.

The recent World Cup winners – who last lost a qualifying tie some 33 matches ago against the Czech Republic in October 2007 – had dominated for long spells, but could not find a way past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Germany piled on the pressure after falling behind against the run of play to Arkadiusz Milik’s header on 51 minutes, and almost snatched an equaliser when a fierce volley from substitute Lukas Podolski rattled the crossbar.

Poland, though, were not to be denied victory over Germany at the 19th attempt when substitute Sebastian Mila slotted in a second with two minutes left as the National Stadium erupted.

It was a bright start by the world champions, but they faced a Poland side who comfortably defended in numbers, leaving the Germans trying their luck from range.

After 10 minutes, Thomas Muller sent in a low shot from 20 yards but he directed it straight at Szczesny.

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski ran at the German defence and went down looking for a penalty under a challenge from Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger, but Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca was rightly not interested.

Germany should have gone ahead on 36 minutes.

Christoph Kramer clipped a ball through the Poland penalty area from the left, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi was inches away from opening his international account when he dragged an angled drive just wide after ghosting in at the back post.

A blistering counter attack then saw Chelsea midfielder Andre Schurrle release Muller with a brilliant crossfield pass, but the Bayern forward was not able to find a finish.

Bellarabi called Szczesny into action again just before the break, when he cut back inside onto his right foot after another slick German passing move.

Poland, who held Germany to a goalless draw in Hamburg in May, snatched the lead on 51 minutes.

Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek floated a ball into the Germany area from the right, and as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came flying out to punch it clear, Ajax forward Milik nipped in front to glance a header into the far corner.

Germany immediately went on the attack, with Mario Gotze squirming into the area and forcing Szczesny into a reaction save at close range.

On 70 minutes, Kamil Grosicki surged up field, but the Poland midfielder could only shoot straight at Neuer after barging past two defenders at the edge of the penalty area.

Mats Hummels headed wide from a corner, before on 78 minutes, Bellarabi’s drive from just inside the Poland penalty area was palmed away by Szczesny.

Arsenal forward Podolski, who was born in Poland, rattled the crossbar with a left-foot volley before Gotze fired over.

Poland, though, delivered a knockout blow on the counter in the 88th minute.

Lewandowski held off defender Erik Durm before laying the ball through to Mila, who steered the ball past Neuer to cap an historic night in Warsaw for Adam Nawalka’s industrious side.

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