Germany v Poland, 08 June 2008

Score2-0 to Germany
RefereeTom Henning Ovrebo
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group B
VenueWörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
Attendance30,000
Kick-Off: 8.45pm local Assistant referees: Geir Åge Holen (Norway) Jan Petter Randen (Norway) Fourth official: Craig Thomson (Scotland) Man of the Match: Lukas Podolski (Germany) An emotional Lukas Podolski struck in either half to give Germany an ideal start to their UEFA EURO 2008 Group B campaign with victory against debutants Poland in Klagenfurt. The Polish-born FC Bayern München forward produced a vintage display as the three-time European champions recorded a solid win, putting Germany in front with a simple finish midway through the first half. Poland, in their first EURO finals match, pressed for a way back into the game but struggled to unpick Germany's defence and Podolski finally ended their hopes with an emphatic volley. With national pride and neighbourly rivalry adding an extra frisson and both sides keen to make a positive start there was plenty at stake, and it was Poland who began the brighter as they went in search of a first victory against Germany. Leo Beenhakker's team came close in the opening minute when Jens Lehmann got tangled up with Per Mertesacker while trying to deal with a high cross and the ball fell invitingly to Jacek Krzynówek, but the VfL Wolfsburg midfielder blazed over. Germany responded in kind to signal their own intent, and should have opened the scoring after Michael Ballack sprang the Poland offside trap to release Miroslav Klose into an ocean of space down the left. The Mannschaft's other Polish-born striker bore down on Artur Boruc's goal but elected to pass and Mario Gomez was unable to make a proper connection at full stretch with the goalkeeper stranded, the ball slipping narrowly the wrong side of the post. Germany looked the stronger team as the first half unfolded and duly went ahead on 20 minutes after again catching their opponents flat-footed at the back. Gomez sent Klose clear on the right and this time the square pass was perfectly delivered, leaving Podolski to tuck the ball neatly past Boruc. Head bowed and unsmiling, the scorer denied himself a true celebration out of respect for his heritage. Maciej Żurawski might have levelled while Gomez could have increased the German advantage with a clever flick, yet half-time came with no change to the scoreline. Ballack could have strengthened Germany's position two minutes into the second period but his attempt skewed awkwardly off his thigh. Poland were far from out of it, however, maintaining a healthy share of possession without making significant inroads, while their supporters behind the goal provided plenty of encouragement. Those fans were further heartened as substitute Roger Guerreiro made some surging runs down the left, then Euzebiusz Smolarek had an effort ruled out for offside. The alert Boruc tipped over Ballack's well-struck attempt but was powerless to prevent Podoski sealing the points in the 72nd minute – few goalkeepers would have kept it out. A swift passing move was cut off by Paweł Golański yet substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger dispossessed the defender and, although Klose missed his kick, Podolski showed how it should be done with a sweet left-foot volley.

2  Germany

Manager: Joachim Low

0  Poland

Manager: Leo Beenhakker

Goals:

Lukas Podolski 20 G
Lukas Podolski 72 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann
Defender Philipp Lahm
Defender Per Mertesacker
Defender/Midfielder Marcell Jansen
Midfielder Michael Ballack (captain)
Midfielder Torsten Frings
Midfielder Clemens Fritz
Forward Mario Gómez
Forward Miroslav Klose
Forward Lukas Podolski

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Artur Boruc
Defender Jacek Bąk
Defender Dariusz Dudka
Defender Pawel Golanski
Midfielder Jacek Krzynówek
Midfielder Mariusz Lewandowski
Forward Ebi Smolarek
Forward Maciej Zurawski (captain)

Substitutions:

Bastian Schweinsteiger for Clemens Fritz 55
Thomas Hitzlsperger for Mario Gómez 75
Kevin Kurányi for Miroslav Klose 90

Substitutions:

Roger Guerreiro for Maciej Zurawski 46
Lukasz Piszczek for Wojciech Lobodzinski 65
Marek Saganowski for Pawel Golanski 75

Cards:

Bastian Schweinsteiger 64 Y

Cards:

Ebi Smolarek 40 Y
Mariusz Lewandowski 60 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rene Adler
Goalkeeper Robert Enke
Defender Arne Friedrich
Defender Heiko Westermann
Midfielder Tim Borowski
Midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger
Midfielder Simon Rolfes
Midfielder Piotr Trochowski
Forward Kevin Kurányi
Forward Oliver Neuville
Forward David Odonkor

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański
Defender Mariusz Jop
Defender Adam Kokoszka
Defender Michal Pazdan
Defender Lukasz Piszczek
Defender Jakub Wawrzyniak
Midfielder Lukasz Gargula
Midfielder Rafal Murawski
Midfielder Roger Guerreiro
Forward Tomasz Zahorski

Comments:

- Lukas Podolski scored his 26th and 27th international goals in 49 international matches, netting twice against the nation where he was born. Podolski is the first German to score a brace in a European Championship match since Oliver Bierhoff scored two in the final of Euro 96. - Germany remained undefeated against their eastern neighbours adding their 12th win to four draws in their 16th run-in with Poland. It was Germany's first victory in this competition since defeating Czech Republic 2-1 in the final of Euro 96 on 30 June 1996. They ended a six match victory drought, their longest in the history of the competition.

Comments:

- Poland played their first ever match at a European Championship, whilst Germany featured in a record 33rd fixture in the competition. - Poland coach Leo Beenhakker is still waiting for his first victory as a head coach in a major championship. Four matches with Holland (1990 Fifa World Cup), three with Trinidad and Tobago (2006 Fifa World Cup) and this match with Poland have not produced a victory.