Slovakia shock 10-man Poland to earn vital Euro 2020 win
Slovakia have won their opening game of Euro 2020 after a superb performance against Poland finished 2-1.
Poland were reduced to 10 men in the second half after Grzegorz Krychowiak was shown a second yellow card and Milan Skriniar thumped the ball in with 21 minutes remaining to seal the win for Slovakia.
Wojciech Szczesny’s own goal gave Slovakia the lead before Karol Linetty levelled the score 30 seconds into the second half.
Slovakia’s performance far exceeded the quality that their 36th place in the FIFA world rankings would suggest and they took the lead when Robert Mak’s strike hit the post before bouncing off Szczesny into the net.
Maciej Rybus and Krychowiak both had chances to level but sent the ball narrowly over the bar.
Poland regrouped at the half-time break though, and they were level with their first attack of the second half. A superb team move ended with Linetty firing in low to open Poland’s account for the tournament.
Slovakia kept pace with their higher-ranked opponents though and went a man up when Krychowiak picked up a second yellow card.
Skriniar made the man advantage count though when he got onto the end of a rebound to fire the ball in low from the edge of the penalty area.
Poland pushed for an equaliser late on. Robert Lewandowski failed to get onto the end of a superb cross with the goal gaping and Jan Bednarek sent a shot inches wide.
Deep into stoppage time Karol Swiderski nearly found the back of the net but his shot was stopped by Martin Dubravka.
Slovakia meet Sweden on Friday with Poland meeting Spain a day later.