Germany and Poland played out a bore draw in an important Group C match. Neither team could break the other down despite the Germans controlling large parts of the game. The first goalless draw of the tournament puts both teams in good positions to progress into the knockout stages but both definitely would have preferred all 3 points.
Germany dominated possession throughout the game, as was expected. The intricate passing of Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos meant that often the Polish had many minutes without even touching the ball. Nevertheless, the Germans, especially in the first half, failed to make this count. They controlled the game but were not able to create chances. Instead they resorted to half chances, Sami Khedira’s shot from distance ten minutes into the game was a prime example of this.
The first half was full of tense football, Germany dictated the play but could not provide the finishing touches. Both teams kept it tight at the back but it was clear for all to see that Mats Hummels was recovering from an injury. Other than a few ineffectual shots the first half was uneventful and at times boring
The teams went in at the break goalless; Joachim Low and Adam Nawalka needed to provide their teams with a threat and some inspiration going into the second half. Many of the German attacks came from the left hand side with no recognised right sided midfielder playing in the squad. Nonetheless, Hector and Draxler were ineffectual on the left side and could not get past the sturdy Polish defence.
The second half did not start much better. Germany continued to control the possession and the tempo of the game but could not crack the tight Polish defence. But all of a sudden the Polish put together a brilliant move, after a cross that cut the German defence wide open and left Arkadiusz Milik with an almost open goal all he had to to was make contact. Agonisingly, for all of Poland he tried to make contact all wrong and he ended up missing the ball.
Poland continued to press and when the ball found its way to Milik again but for a second time in the match he fluffed his lines with a complete air-kick. It turned out to be a miserable night for the Polish forward in front of goal. After these two glorious chances, Poland must have been left thinking about what might have been and from then on seemed content to allow Germany to dominate the game with the hope of mounting a counter attack.
Both teams had few chances in the remainder of the match. The world champions struggled to show their prowess in the final third but continued to dictate the tempo of the game.
With 10 minutes to go neither team looked like they would find an opening and the stalemate continued. Both teams kept it safe, going into the final minutes of the game and the Polish saw the game out gaining a valuable draw.
The world champions will not be thrilled with the draw but both teams will take the point and use it to aid their cause progressing further in the tournament.
Man of the Match: Lukas Piszczek
The Borussia Dortmund defender had a solid game in defence for the Polish. He quelled much of Germany’s attacking threat which came from the left (Draxler and Hector). Piszczek made some good runs and whipped a few good balls into the box. If Poland were going to score the threat seemed to be coming from one of his attacking runs. In a stalemate Piszczek played an important role in stopping any sort of German danger.
Line-ups (with ratings):
Germany (4-5-1): Neuer (7)- Hector (8)- Boateng (7)- Hummels (6)- Howedes (6)- Muller (6)- Kroos (8)- Ozil (6)- Khedira (6)- Draxler (7)- Gotze (5)
Poland (4-4-2): Fabianski (7)- Jedrzejczyk (6)- Glik (7)- Pazdan (7)- Piszczek (9) – Grosicki (6)- Maczynski (6)- Krychowiak (8) – Blaszczykowski (6)- Milik (5)- Lewandowski (6)