Germany held to goalless draw against Poland
Thursday's top clash between Poland and Germany at Stade de France ended in a goalless draw. Germany are top of Group C on four points now, level with Poland and one ahead of Northern Ireland, but have yet to secure a spot in the last sixteen. Joachim Löw's troops cross swords with Northern Ireland next Tuesday. Not only the two top teams of each group get through to the first knockout round, but also the four best third-placed sides. Last-placed Ukraine, who have failed to take any points so far, are the first team to be eliminated in the group stage.
“Our defensive organisation as a team was good today, but we lacked a lot in attack,” summarised Jérôme Boateng, who was voted UEFA Man of the Match: “We played very well up until the final third of the pitch, but failed to create dangerous situations then. We have to improve that.” Poland captain Robert Lewandowski commented: “It wasn't easy. Germany dominated possession, we defended well. Nevertheless we had more clear-cut chances than Germany. We're satisfied with the point.”
Germany with four FCB pros
The 73,648 crowd in Saint-Denis saw both teams up the pace after the interval. Germany were dominant, but ran up vainly against the rock of Poland's defence. Toni Kroos, Mario Götze and Mesut Özil failed to put away their chances. Arkadiusz Milik missed two opportunities for Poland after the break. Boateng and Mats Hummels stood firm against FCB striker Robert Lewandowski.
Just like in the first match, captain Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Boateng and Götze made the starting line-up. Joachim Löw restored new FCB signing Mats Hummels at centre-back, the only change to the side which beat Ukraine 2-0 last Sunday. Apart from Götze, who left the pitch after the hour mark, all Munich men including Poland's Lewandowski played the full 90 minutes. Joshua Kimmich failed to get off the bench.