Poland & Lewandowski lose EURO opener to Slovaks
Robert Lewandowski and his Poland teammates surprisingly lost their opening match at EURO 2020 by a 2-1 margin to Slovakia. FC Bayern's world player of the year had a number of presentable opportunities but was unable to swing the game in his country's favour. As a result, the Poles go into the challenging second group stage match against Spain on Saturday (kick-off 21.00 CEST) with no points.
Own goal paves way for defeat
Poor fortune dogged the Poles from the start, with their opponents' 18th-minute opener largely down to a huge slice of luck: Robert Mak shot from close range after a solo run, and although his effort hit the post, from there the ball bounced off the back of Poland keeper Szczęsny, who deflected the ball into his own net. Lewandowski had a chance to equalise three minutes before the break but failed to strike the ball cleanly from the inside-left channel and dragged his shot wide of the Slovakian goal.
The Poles came out of the dressing room after the interval determined to make amends and equalised immediately after the restart through Karol Linetty (46th). However, the joy over the goal was short-lived, as just a quarter of an hour later, Grzegorz Krychowiak was dismissed for a second yellow card. With only ten men, Lewandowski and Co. were unable to maintain their attacking efforts and were punished when Milan Škriniar made the score 2-1 in the 69th minute.