Slovakia stunned Poland to secure only their second ever victory at the European Championships, kicking off Group E with a 2-1 win in Saint-Petersburg.
Robert Lewandowski was expected to be the difference in a tight game, but he was starved of service by Lubomir Satka and Inter's Milan Skriniar. Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was also hardly tested until it was too late.
Instead, Marek Hamsik and Ondrej Duda were the chief threats; both drifted into different positions and made it difficult for Poland to stop them exploiting the space on the counter attack.
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The game's first telling moment came on 18 minutes as Slovakia cemented their dominance. Robert Mak did brilliantly to evade Polish challenges on the left before he came inside and saw his shot deflected in by Wojciech Szczesny's arm.
The Slovaks continued to win the midfield battle and control the tempo of the game with clever fouls. They managed to restrict Poland to efforts from distance, most notably from Piotr Zielinski.
Lewandowski cut a more frustrated figure as the first half progressed. His only sight of goal came just three minutes before the break when he dropped deep to collect the ball before playing it out wide and getting himself into the area to meet Maciej Rybus's cross, but he couldn't keep his shot on target.
Less than a minute after half time, though, Poland equalised. One-touch play unlocked Slovakia's defence and Lewandowski's brilliant diversion made space for Karol Linetty to meet and finish Rybus' byline cross.
But with the hour mark having just passed, Poland risked losing their momentum when Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off after a second yellow card.
Skriniar, who had been excellent at the back, punished them just minutes later. Lukas Haraslin's forward drive and strike won a corner, from which the defender controlled the ball and struck into the top corner. It was exactly what he deserved for an impressive all round display.
Poland huffed and puffed with time running out, but they couldn't find a way through. Lewandowski's day was summed up when he failed to connect with a late corner, before Jan Bednarek fired wide and substitute Karol Swiderski forced Dubravka into an easy save in stoppage time.


Paulo Sousa's men were clear favourites coming into this one, but they never really got going in the first half. Lewandowski was constantly isolated, and Zielinski was only able to show glimpses of his class. Krychowiak's sending off came at a bad time for Poland, who were stepping up after grabbing such an early goal in the second half. They were made to pay a heavy price.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Milan Skriniar (Slovakia)

There was a reason Lewandowski was so quiet and it was invariably the Inter man's performance at the back alongside Satka. There are few better ball-playing centre backs in Europe, and he showed that by making himse;d the match winner with a breathtaking finish.


Poland: Szczesny 4, Bereszynski 5, Bednarek 5, Glik 6, Rybus 6, Linetty 7, Krychowiak 4, Klich 5, Jozwiak 5, Zielinski 5, Lewandowski 5 Substitutes: Frankowski 5, Puchacz 5, Moder N/A, Swiderski N/A
Slovakia: Dubravka 7, Pekarik 6, Hubocan 6, Satka 7, Skriniar 9, Hromada 7, Kucka 7, Haraslin 6, Mak 7, Hamsik 8, Duda 8 Substitutes: Hrosovsky 5, Koscelnik 5, Suslov N/A, Duris N/A, Gregus N/A


18' - OWN GOAL! Slovakia lead. Brilliant run by Mak and his shot is deflected in by Szczesny!
46' - GOAL! Poland are level. Lovely goal; Rybus gets to the byline and squares for Linetty after some beautiful one-touch play. 1-1!
62' - RED CARD! Big moment. Krychowiak is sent off for a second yellow. Could the momentum shift again?
69' - GOAL! Skriniar controls and fires the resulting corner into the net, giving Szczesny no chance.


Szczesny is the first goalkeepoer ever to score an own goal at the European Championships.
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