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Euro 2016: Poland defeats Ukraine 1-0 at Marseille

Published 21/06/2016

Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, and Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko challenge for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, and Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko challenge for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, and Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko challenge for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Olexandr Kucher jumps over Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, front, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, scores the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski kicks the ball to score the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, right, watches the ball entering the net after Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates with teammtes Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec, left, and Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, right, after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Olexandr Kucher jumps over Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, front, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, scores the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski kicks the ball to score the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, right, watches the ball entering the net after Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates with teammtes Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec, left, and Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, right, after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski, left, and Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko challenge for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Bartosz Kapustka, center, falls on the ball between Ukraine's Ruslan Roton, left, and Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski, on the pitch, is comforted by Ukraine's Artem Fedetskiy during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Olexandr Kucher jumps over Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski kicks the ball to score the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, right, watches the ball entering the net after Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Roman Zozulya, right, and Poland's Kamil Glik try to head the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko misses a chance ahead of Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, right, kicks the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak, right, chases Ukraine's Ruslan Roton during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Ruslan Roton, left, takes Poland's Robert Lewandowski's jersey during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski, center right, attemps to score as Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, left, is to catch the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Roman Zozulya, center, heads the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine coach Mykhailo Fomenko attends the national anthems prior to the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Ukraine's Yevhen Khacheridi, right, tries and acrobatic kick ahead of Poland's Arkadiusz Milik during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Olexandr Zinchenko, left, and Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak, right, challenge for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Ukraine's Roman Zozulya, left, looks on as Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec, right, and Grzegorz Krychowiak, center, go for a header during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski catches the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski, right, chanllenges for the ball with Ukraine's Yevhen Khacheridi during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland coach Adam Nawalka, shouts during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski sits on the pitch during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko reacts after failing to score during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, left, kicks the ball as Poland's Robert Lewandowski tries to take it during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Ukraine's Roman Zozulya, left, looks on as Poland's Tomasz Jodlowiec, right, and Grzegorz Krychowiak, center, go for a header during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski, right, chanllenges for the ball with Ukraine's Yevhen Khacheridi during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski catches the ball during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland's Robert Lewandowski sits on the pitch during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, left, kicks the ball as Poland's Robert Lewandowski tries to take it during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Poland coach Adam Nawalka, shouts during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko reacts after failing to score during the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Poland coach Adam Nawalka has backed star striker Robert Lewandowski to come good after watching his side ease into the Euro 2016 knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Ukraine.

Lewandowski missed a golden opportunity to break his duck in the tournament before half-time substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski finished off a wonderfully worked move to grab the only goal of the game.

Victory took the Poles, who have yet to concede a goal in the tournament, into a last 16 clash with Switzerland while Ukraine head home without a point or a goal from their three Group C games.

Nawalka said: "That Lewandowski hasn't scored for us yet is not a problem whatsoever.

"He is doing a lot of hard work and has had a big influence on our wins and how we have played. He's incredibly important to us.

"He plays in a supportive way throughout and it's just a matter of time for him. He's creating a lot of chances and I think he'll score in the next match."

Nawalka also confirmed match-winner Blaszczykowski is likely to be rewarded for his impact in Marseille by earning a starting spot against the Swiss.

He added: "Blaszczykowski is an important player for us - he's very experienced and has a great influence on how we play - he proved that tonight.

"He increased the quality of our play and I'll count on him in the coming matches. He will start against Switzerland.

"We have prepared some information on Switzerland. They play at a high level and they're one of the more interesting teams at this tournament (but) we have faith and optimism that we'll go further."

The future of Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko remains unclear after his side ended their dismal campaign with an improved performance but the same result.

Fomenko had appeared to intimate to Ukrainian media that the game against Poland would be his last after Ukraine were eliminated from the tournament with defeat to Northern Ireland.

But while his fate appears almost certain, Fomenko appeared to back-track slightly on Tuesday and imply he had not come to a definite decision.

Fomenko said: "When you work with a national team and you don't get a positive result you have to think about things - only then can I answer your question about my future.

"I don't have any complaints about my players today because we played football. I hope they use this experience. If they work hard on the pitch they will eventually take their chances in front of goal."

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