UEFA EURO 2024: Poland gains hope despite defeat

UEFA EURO 2024: Poland gains hope despite defeat

“We showed that we can play football very well. We had our chances,” said team manager Michal Probierz, under whom the Polish national team lost for the first time in its ninth competitive match. “I told my players not to let their heads hang, to keep their chins up.” The impending return of goalscorer, captain, record player and superstar Lewandowski, who was sitting on the bench in Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion with a torn muscle fiber, also gives confidence in the Polish camp.

The former world footballer could be back on the pitch in the decisive duel against the ÖFB team on Friday (6 p.m.) in Berlin. “Robert Lewandowski is regaining his strength and will hopefully play against Austria,” announced Probierz at the press conference after the game. Previously, substitute Adam Buksa had scored the Polish lead in the 16th minute with a powerful header after a corner. The 27-year-old, who was loaned from Lens to Antalyaspor last season, actually only occupies fourth place in the Polish striker hierarchy.

Netherlands beat Poland with Weghorst goal

As expected, the Netherlands are top of the table in Austria’s Group D at the European Football Championship in Germany. The “Oranje” team beat Poland 2-1 in Hamburg. The match winner was Wout Weghorst, who scored the winning goal (83′) shortly after being substituted on.

Buksa got tips from Lewandowski

But the injuries of Lewandowski, Karol Swiderski and Arkadiusz Milik pushed Buksa into the starting eleven. Before the opening match, he therefore sought advice from Lewandowski. “We spoke before the game and he gave me a few tips. He is the best player in our team. He helps us all, including me,” Buksa told the APA. It is unclear whether the brother of Aleksander Buksa (21), most recently a striker at WSG Tirol, will also be in the starting eleven against Austria.

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Netherlands beat Poland with “joker goal”

The same goes for Bartosz Salomon, who had to be substituted due to a foot injury. Central defender Pawel Dawidowicz will probably be an option for the starting eleven again. Against the Netherlands, the Probierz team, cheered on loudly by their own fans, repeatedly delivered offensive pinpricks. Only in defense did holes occasionally appear against the Dutch combination play.

“We will not give up”

In any case, hopes of advancing to the round of 16 have not died in Poland. “We are not giving up. We will do everything and fight to advance,” assured Probierz. “We still have something to prove and will be even stronger. We have not said our last word yet.” The fact that his team has an extra day of rest before the second group match is not an advantage for him. “Austria will be very well prepared.”

IMAGO/Newspix/Lukasz Grochala/Cyfrasport Poland’s team manager Michal Probierz expects well-prepared Austrians in the second European Championship match

The Dutch, on the other hand, left the Hanseatic city with the three points they had planned. Positive: The offensive fireworks in the first few minutes of the game gave them confidence for the upcoming group match against France. Negative: In the second half of the game, almost nothing worked in attack, and the way they had exploited their chances beforehand also annoyed national coach Ronald Koeman. “We should have been leading 3-1 or 4-1 at half-time,” he said.

Netherlands misses many opportunities

However, the “Oranje” only managed to equalize in the first half thanks to a deflected shot from Cody Gakpo (29th minute) – the Liverpool striker was voted “Man of the Match”. “We created five chances and only converted one. Creating chances is one thing, converting them is another,” emphasised Koeman. Many moments were good, but there is still a lot to improve. At least: In major events, the “Elftal” are unbeaten in ten group matches, with nine wins and one draw.

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