Poland make Euro history in Nice as Milik breaks down plucky Northern Ireland

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Poland won their first ever match at a European Championship on Sunday as Northern Ireland were beaten by a single goal from Arkadiusz Milik.

Milik fired home on 51 minutes following neat set-up play by Jakub Blaszczykowski to give Poland the breakthrough that their utter dominance deserved.

Poland had absolutely battered their plucky opponents in the first half, keeping 65% of possession and registering 10 shots to N. Ireland’s zero.

Milik’s opener early in the second period forced the underdogs to open up a bit and, although Poland still looked the more likely side to score the second goal, N. Ireland did create a couple of genuine chances to grab an equaliser.

The first fell to Conor Washington, who was burst through on goal, only for Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny to rush out and pinch the ball off his toes.

Szczesny had barely touched the ball before this fine intervention, so the Arsenal man deserves great credit for staying sharp.

Northern Ireland’s second chance fell to captain Steven Davis, who almost latched onto a clever free-kick.

Davis swung his right boot towards Oliver Norwood’s treaded through pass, but the skipper could only connect with fresh air.

N. Ireland must now prepare for Thursday’s game against Ukraine. It is a match one suspects they must not lose, with their only other remaining fixture coming five days later when they tackle world champions Germany.

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