There was no separating Germany and Poland as they played to a dull goalless draw in their Euro 2016 Group C clash at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Thursday night.
- Germany 0 Poland 0
- Drab first half ends goalless
- Poland fail to lodge a single shot on target
- Germany dominate possession throughout
- Poland and Germany remain top of Group C
In a match short on regular goalmouth action, it was always going to be an individual piece of brilliance that would set the two teams apart.
However, that was sadly not forthcoming as neither side showed any real desire to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Poland will certainly be the happier of the two sides, though, having come away with a point from one of the tournament favourites.
The match started at a cautious tempo, with Germany enjoying plenty of possession early on while Poland were forced to sit deep and defend for large passages of play.
The first chance of the game arrived after just four minutes of play, but it came to nothing as Mario Gotze headed over from Julian Draxler’s inviting left-wing cross.
Die Mannschaft continued to patiently prod and probe for openings in the Polish defence, but they found it hard to break down a well organised unit.
Sami Khedira fired well wide with a speculative effort from range in the 12th minute, before Toni Kroos poked just wide from Thomas Muller’s low ball across the face of goal.
However, that was the last chance of note for quite some time as Poland began to grow in confidence despite continuing to see very little of the ball.
After a lengthy lull in play, Germany went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on 38 minutes, when Thomas Muller struck the post from inside the area. However, it mattered little as the referee’s assistant subsequently signalled for offside, with Gotze caught standing behind the defensive line when he got the ball.
There was one last chance for the Germans on the stroke of half-time but it again went to waste, Khedira sweeping well wide on the volley from quite some way out.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much of an improvement after the half-time break, with goal-scoring chances at a premium for both sides.
Poland should have claimed the lead in the 48th minute, though, as Kamil Grosicki skipped past his marker before firing the ball across the face of goal, only for Arkadiusz Milik to fail to connect in the six-yard box.
The German’s hit back with a chance of their own just one minute later, Gotze firing straight at goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski after breaking free on the right-hand side of the box.
Poland again went close just moments before the hour mark after winning a free-kick about 30 yard out. Robert Lewandowski shaped to shoot before backheeling the ball to Milik, who bent a curling effort into the side netting.
Neither side was showing much in the way of urgency, with goal attempts few and far between. However, Fabianski was eventually called into action again in the 70th minute, palming Mesut Ozil’s rasping drive to safety.
The match produced one last attempt on goal three minutes from time, but Kamil Grosicki couldn’t direct his free-kick on target, firing over the bar.