FLYING START: Skriniar strike sees Slovakia beat 10-man Poland
PA - Liam McBurney
Milan Skriniar struck a superb winner as Slovakia stunned 10-man Poland in their Euro 2020 opener in St Petersburg.
The Inter Milan defender netted the deciding goal with just over 20 minutes remaining as he calmly controlled the ball inside Poland's penalty area.
Poland had been in the ascendancy after Karol Linetty cancelled out a first-half Slovakia strike that was credited as a Wojciech Szczesny own goal.
That own goal maintained the former Arsenal keeper’s unfortunate sequence in the opening matches of European Championships, having been sent off in 2012 and injured in 2016.
Although they got back in to the game, Poland were reduced to 10 men just past the hour mark.
Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off for a second bookable offence and this handed Slovakia the initiative, with the goal from Skriniar coming just seven minutes later.
Despite their attack boasting one of the best strikers in the world, Poland failed to register a single shot on target during the opening 45 mintues and Slovakia were much the better side.
The experienced Marek Hamsik and Robert Mak were causing lots of problems for the Polish defence on the counter attack.
The result leaves Group E wide open following Spain's 0-0 draw against Sweden and gives Slovakia a huge chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Meanwhile, Poland will have to dust themselves down as they take on Spain in Seville on Saturday night with both sides in desperate need of the three points.
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