POLAND MAKE POINT AGAINST RUSSIA
Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski earned his country what could prove to be a precious point with a 1-1 draw against Russia in Group A.
Alan Dzagoev headed Russia into a first-half lead in the 37th minute, escaping his marker on the edge of the area to burst into the box and divert Andrey Arshavin's wicked in-swinging free-kick home via his shoulder more than his head.
But Poland restored parity with a simply stunning strike from Blaszczykowski who cut inside from the right and unleashed a venomous left-foot shot which flew beyond Vyacheslav Malafeev and ripped into the back of the net.
The match was played in a white-hot atmosphere in Warsaw's National Stadium, with the home fans producing a cauldron of noise and the away supporters unfurling a giant 'This is Russia' banner prior to kick-off.
Russia are top of Group A on four points ahead of their encounter against Greece, while Poland, with two points, tackle Czech Republic knowing only a win will do if they are not to suffer an early exit from their own party.
Czech Republic now have three points after they beat Greece, who have only one point, 2-1 in Tuesday's first match of the day in Group A but all four nations still have hope they can progress.
Russia's Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, praised Poland for their performance and added he was happy with the point.
"Poland played very well tonight, being under the risk of losing the chance to win a place in the last eight if they lost," he said.
"Meanwhile, we allowed them to create too many chances in attack.
"That means we still need to strengthen our defence. We also played well and scored before the break and had many chances in the second.
"But we missed them all. In general, I would say the draw is a good result for us."
Poland coach Franciszek Smuda declared himself satisfied with his players and believes his young side will only improve.
"We are a young side, and we are going to get ever better," said Smuda.
"I am above all happy with the players because they played to the game-plan from the first to last minute."
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