Euro 2012 day five analysis: Blaszczykowski stuns Russia

The night after Andriy Shevchenko sent Ukraine into raptures with his two goals in their win over Sweden, fellow co-hosts Poland found their hero in the shape of Jakub Blaszczykowski.

With the Poles 1-0 down to bitter rivals Russia, captain Blaszczykowski cut in from the right to arrow a thunderous left-footed finish past goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.

Blaszczykowski's strike earned Poland a point, strengthening their push for a place in the quarter-finals. Poland will reach the last eight if they beat the Czech Republic in their final Group A game.

BBC pundits Pat Nevin and Mick McCarthy reflect on the goal of the tournament so far.

Pat Nevin

Pat Nevin on Radio 5 live

"What a fantastic goal, what a fantastic break. Russia went forward quickly and left a massive gap in midfield.

"There was a period where the home fans didn't think they could get an equaliser - that lifted them and the noise inside the stadium was deafening.

"At half-time we talked about Poland needing to score early in the second half and it sounded like a cliche. But there's a reason why cliches are used - sometimes they come true. And it came true tonight.

"Poland deserved that draw - there was much more about them in the second half."

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy on Match of the Day

"It's just such a great goal. He cut in on his left foot and absolutely nailed it. It's a thing of beauty, a fabulous and deserved equaliser for the way they started the second half. Everything about it is top class and no-one was stopping it, Russia or whoever.

"Andrey Arshavin could have killed the game at the other end and Poland broke and scored."

Poland's draw with Russia in numbers

  • Russia enjoyed 60.2% of possession, but only had 11 attempts on goal compared to Poland's 15
  • Six of Poland's attempts were in target, while Russia only had two on target, both by goalscorer Alan Dzagoev
  • Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov has taken 11 shots at Euro 2012, but has yet to hit the target
  • Blaszczykowski made 31 passes, 67.7% of which were successful
  • Russia played 564 passes compared to Poland's 352
  • The game's top eight passers were all Russian, with Igor Denisov leading the way on 107. Poland's top passer, Ludovic Obraniak was 64 behind on 43
  • The draw means Poland are still without a win in the five games they have played at European Championship finals (three draws and two losses)
  • The result also extends Russia's unbeaten run to 16 games

Who is Jakob Blaszczykowski?

  • The 26-year-old midfielder is the captain of his country
  • Made his debut for Poland in 2006 and has since won more than 50 caps
  • Blaszczykowski is one of three players in the Poland squad who play their club football at German side Borussia Dortmund, along with Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek
  • His uncle Jerzy Brzeczek is a former captain of Poland
  • As an 11-year-old he witnessed his father stab his mother to death

What they said about Blaszczykowski's goal:

"Wonderful goal! Inspirational story!" - Gary Lineker on Twitter.external-link

"People thought my left foot was weaker but I didn't take as many risks in the past." - Jakub Blaszczykowski

"Our first game was 4-1, and then this second game was like an away game, and there was this beautiful equaliser." - Russia coach Dick Advocaat

"It was my dream that we didn't lose and we didn't lose." - Poland coach Franciszek Smuda

"It's a fantastic run, he takes the full-back away and cuts inside. It was a fantastic finish, and Poland deserved it." - Robbie Savage

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