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Northern Ireland beaten by Poland – highlights & report

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Northern Ireland's first match at a European Championship finals ended in defeat as Arkadiusz Milik's 51st-minute goal gave Poland a 1-0 win in Nice.

Ajax star Milik scored by slotting in a low shot after being picked out by Jakub Blaszczykowski.

Poland had dominated the first half but were thwarted by some superb defending by Michael O'Neill's men.

Northern Ireland did not manage to get a decent effort on target and must now regroup to play Ukraine on Thursday.

Poland deserved the three points, the first time they have won an opening match at a Euro finals, inflicting a first defeat in 13 on their Group C opponents.

Northern Ireland endured an anxious opening and must have been relieved to get to the break still on level terms - they have now conceded just one first-half goal in their last 21 matches.

But that all changed when Milik, scorer of 24 for his club last season, took one touch before finding the net with a left-foot shot.

With Northern Ireland having to find something, Shane Ferguson was replaced in the 66th minute by QPR striker Conor Washington - who was working as a postman and playing for St Ives when the Euros were last staged in 2012.

Jamie Ward later came on too but it just was not happening for the team in green.

Their best hope was a well-worked free-kick which ended with skipper Steven Davis just failing to get in his shot.

Man of the match - Bartosz Kapustka

Bartosz Kapustka

The stats you need to know...

  • Poland recorded their first win at the European Championship finals, after failing to win their previous six matches (D3 L3).
  • Northern Ireland have failed to win their last six matches at major tournaments (D2 L4).
  • Poland also recorded their first clean sheet in the competition.
  • Northern Ireland registered just two attempts at goal - the joint-lowest total by a team in a European Championships match since the finals expanded from four to eight teams in 1980.
  • Poland completed more passes against Northern Ireland than in any other previous Euros match (431).
  • Arkadiusz Milik (at 22 years 104 days) is the youngest goalscorer for Poland in European Championship finals history.

Line-ups

Poland

  • 1Szczesny
  • 20PiszczekBooked at 89mins
  • 15Glik
  • 2Pazdan
  • 3Jedrzejczyk
  • 16Blaszczykowski