Tag Archives: Jakub Blaszczykowski

Top 5 Goals Of UEFA EURO 2012

The European Championships in Poland/Ukraine have come to an end with Spain creating history by successfully defending their crown by defeating Italy 4-0 in the final. A total of 76 goals have been scored by the 16 teams that took part in the competition and here’s our pick of the top five goals.

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden 2-0 France)

Sweden were already out of the tournament and were just playing for some lost pride against France in the final game in Group D. Sebastian Larsson crossed from the right for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who twisted superbly to dispatch a flying volley past Hugo Lloris from the edge of the area.

2. Sami Khedira (Germany 4-2 Greece)

The Real Madrid midfielder timed his run perfectly to meet Jerome Boateng’s cross on the volley and smash the ball past Michalis Sifakis to restore Germany’s advantage, after Georgios Samaras had shockingly equalised for Greece.

3. Mario Balotelli (Germany 1-2 Italy)

Ricardo Montolivo looked for Balotelli following a Germany corner, his ball over the top evading Philipp Lahm. The Manchester City striker sped away from his pursuers to rifle a shot into the top corner for finish every bit as emphatic as his first of the match.

4. Jakub Blaszczykowski (Poland 1-1 Russia)

Poland broke quickly down the right and Jakub Blaszczykowski cut inside Yuri Zhirkov, level with the edge of the area, and unleased a fiercely struck shot with his left boot which found the top left-hand corner.

5. Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia 4-1 Czech Republic)

The former Tottenham Hotspur striker took just nine minutes to make his mark on UEFA EURO 2012 after coming off the substitutes’ bench. He cut in from the left-hand side of the penalty are and rifled an efford into the top left-hand corner to seal an impressive victory for his side over the Czech Republic.

Predicting Czech Republic v Poland And Greece v Russia

With the second round of group matches done and last round to be played over four days, 14 teams have a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals with just 8 places are up for grabs, while two teams – Sweden and Republic of Ireland – are already out.

Today we predict the outcome of the matches in the Group A, where all fours teams – Poland, Czech Republic, Russia and Greece have a chance to make it through to the next round. The two matches will be played simultaneously, co-hosts Poland will take on Czech Republic in Wroclaw, while inform Russia will battle out Greece in Warsaw.

Date – 16th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Prediction – Czech Republic are the favourites going into this match against the co-hosts Poland, as a draw may be enough for them to qualify, if Russia beat Greece in the other match, but for Poland they have to win today or else they are out. With so much at stake in this game, the teams will be cautious in the opening 15-20 minutes but will start playing their game once they settle in. Poland will have to be aware of the early threat of the Czech Republic, as they can score some early goals as they did against Greece. While, on the other, the Czechs will have to keep Robert Lewandowski under control or else he could just end their hopes in the tournament. Czech Republic will start the game well and will settled quicker than the co-hosts. Vaclav Pilar, who has scored in both of their matches, will give them the lead early on after a brilliant pass by skipper Tomas Rosicky. The goal will make Poland attack more and Lewandowski will equalise just before half time. The Poles will come out and dominate the game after the interval. Petr Cech, who has conceded five goals so far, will be tested a lot in the second half and will have to be at his best to deny the co-hosts. The Poles will continue to control the game and with less than 10 minutes remaining on the watch, the Poland skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski, who scored the stunner against Russia, will score the most important goal in his life – the goal that will take his side through to the quarter-finals.

Predicted Final Score – Czech Republic  1-2 Poland (Pilar ; Lewandowksi, Blaszczykowski)

Date – 16th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – National Stadium, Warsaw

Prediction – Having won the first two games, a draw will be enough for Russia to qualify but they wont take this match lightly as they know how important momentum is in such tournaments. Greece, on the other hand, need a win to qualify, while draw or a defeat will knock them out of the competition. Russians are the favourites to win the game, but the Greeks will be the one who will be going for the win more than the Russians. Greece will start with a very attacking formation and will go to attack from the first minute, but the Russians will do what they are best at – hitting teams on the break. Arsahvin will break and setup again for Alan Dzagoev – who has been in fine form in this competition – to score his fourth goal of the tournament. Again the Greeks would come and attack and again the Russian will hit them on the break and this time it will be the skipper himself to get his name on the scoresheet. Dimitris Salpingidis will get one back for the UEFA EURO 2004 winners in the second half but it would be just a mere consolation, as substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who has misfired in both the matches so far, will finally score his first goal and get monkey off his back. A win will mean Russia qualify as group winners and will face the second best team in Group B, while Greece are out with Poland qualifying as the second best team in Group A and will most like face Germany in the quarter-finals.

Predicted Final Score – Greece 1-3 Russia (Salpingidis ; Dzagoev, Arshavin, Kerzhakov)

UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – Poland

Population 38.5 million Area 312,685km2 Capital Warsaw Currency Zloty Official Language Polish

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej (PZPN) Official Site http://www.pzpn.pl Year of formation 1919 Euro Ranking 39 World Ranking 65 National Stadium National Stadium, Warsaw Well-known club sides Wisla Krakow, Lech Poznan, Legia Warsaw Leading goalscorers Wlodzimierz Lubanski (48), Gregorz Lato (45), Kazimierz Deyna (41) Most capped players Michal Zewlakow (102), Grzegorz Lato (100), Kazimierz Deyna (97) European Championship finals attended 2008 Best European Championship performance Group Stage 2008 Playing Record in European Championship P93 W38 D25 L30 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 66/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

On June 8 2012, Poland will open the 14th European Championship in the Warsaw National Stadium against Greece, in front of nearly 60,000 fervent home supporters. The lowest-ranked team in the tournament – 33rd in Europe and 68th in the world, behind Panama and the Cape Verde islands and Uzbekistan – Polland will desperately want to give a good account of themselves against the 2004 champions, who will also find it difficult to advance from Group A.

Naturally, being the co-hosts, Poland have not had to qualify and thus have not experienced a competitive match for some time. Various friendlies against opposition from all over the globe paint a pretty scattered picture: they have beaten Ivory Coast and Argentina, held Germany to a draw, but lost to Lithunia and Italy.

“We have made mistakes,” said head coach Franciszek Smuda during a recent rallying call, “but that happenings in friendlies – we will only be 100% ready in May 2012. We’ve met big team and, in most cases we didnt feel inferior. The players gained belief that they can perform during the finals. We are heading in the right direction.”

Poland were not always the relative football minnows that they are today. They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1974 and 1982 thanks to the exploitds of Grzegorz Lato and Zbigniew Boniek. Howerer, Austria/Switzerland in 2008 was their first appearance at a European Championship finals and they finished bottom of their group.

The current Polish team’s main strength is that they are young full of beans and very eager to impress. They style of counter-attacking football may leave the more ageing teams flat-footed and in Robert Lewandowski they have a genuine goal-scoring threat. A win UEFA EURO 2012’s opening match may see them through to the quater-finals, any further, though, and things are likely to become unstuck.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

Qualified as hosts.

HOME AND AWAY KITS

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP A

Friday, 08/06 – Poland v Greece (Warsaw, 17:00)
Tuesday, 12/06 – Poland v Russia (Warsaw, 19:45)
Saturday, 16/06 – Czech Republic v Poland (Wroclaw, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal FC), Przemysław Tytoń (PSV Eindhoven), Grzegorz Sandomierski (KRC Genk).

Defenders: Sebastian Boenisch (SV Werder Bremen), Marcin Kamiński (KKS Lech Poznań), Damien Perquis (FC Sochaux-Montbéliard), Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund), Marcin Wasilewski (RSC Anderlecht), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warszawa), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (KKS Lech Poznań).

Midfielders: Jakub Błaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund), Dariusz Dudka (AJ Auxerre), Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor), Adam Matuszczyk (Fortuna Düsseldorf 1895), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor AŞ), Rafal Murawski (KKS Lech Poznań), Eugen Polanski (1. FSV Mainz), Ludovic Obraniak (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Maciej Rybus (FC Terek Grozny), Rafał Wolski (Legia Warszawa).

Forwards: Paweł Brożek (Celtic FC), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), Artur Sobiech (Hannover 96).

THE CAPTAIN – JAKUB BLASZCZYKOWSKI

Jakub Blaszczykowski or ‘Kuba’ as he is referred in the Bundesliga, is a fairly young national team captain at 26, but he is a commanding presence in the middle of the park nevertheless. He was voted Polish Football of the Year in 2008 and 20120, and was also voted the Borussia Dortmund Player of the Year by the fans in 2008, ahead of Neven Subotic and Alexander Frei.

THE KEEPER – WOJCIECH SZCZENSY

Wojciech Szczesny has gently ousted his countryman Lukasz Fabianski from the number one jersey at Arsenal and a series of steady performances have solidified his stats as the Gunners’ main man between the sticks. He is only 22, has tremendous agility and awereness, and a brutish command of his area for someone so young. You just hope his lack of experience doesn’t cost him this summer.

STAR MAN – ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI

After craving out a regular starting place alongside his captain, Jakub Blaszczykowski, in the title-winning Borussia Dortmund side of 2010-11, Robert Lewandowski is the ner darling of Polish football. A 23-year-old forward with genuine eye for chance, Lewandowski represents Poland’s chief goal threat on home soil this summer. In the 2-2 friendly draw with Germany in September last year his instinctive, 55th-minute opener gave an indication of his predatory potential. His current international scoring record is very decent, goal every three games, but he’ll need to better that for success in the finals.

THE MANAGER – FRANCISZEK SMUDA

Franciszek Smuda spent most of his playing career in the MLS, but returned to his home country after a 16-year hiatus in 1993 to coach Stal Mielec. He then led Widzew Lodz to two consecutive domestic titles and into the Champions League, and also win the title with Wisla Krakow and the Polish Cup with Lech Poznan. Was asked to take the reins of the national team after their faliure to qualify for the World Cup 2010 and has bravelu put his faith in the young Borussia Dortmund contingent.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Quarter-Finals – The White Eagles will hope that home advantage will drive them on, and as we have seen with previous hosts, support can act as the clichéd 12th man. If Lewandowski can keep up his fine form and others step up to the plate, a second round finish is not beyond them.