mercoledì 13 giugno 2012

Good play by the home side

Poland come into this Euro 2012 as the weakest side of the 16 teams. Against Russia, they showed to be no so weak. “We can only accomplish something as a team,” coach Franciszek Smuda said and they did it. Smuda played a more defensive approach going with three central midfielders - Dariusz Dudka, Eugen Polanski and Rafael Murawski - in the way to contain Russian midfield's trio of Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov, and Roman Shirokov. The goal was to cover the spaces in the middle. Ludovic Obraniak and Jakub Blaszczykowski was not the needed treats in the first half so Robert Lewandowski was often isolted as centre forward having no support by the midfielders.
On the defensive phase, Polish work was excellent. Russia wasn't able to move the ball quickly, and Poland set the goal to close rivals down in the middle of the pitch. When Russia moved the ball on the flanks, Poland's flankers made a great job covering the spaces.
The couple of Poland's wings and half-backs provided the needed coverage against Russian counterpart.

When Russia looked to upcoming half-backs, with the wingers cutting inside, Lukasz Piszczek and Sebastian Boenisch was able to get forward covering the rivals, with the other defenders that stayed in in a three-man defence.

But the whole team defended with bravery. Lewandowski chased Denisov. That left Russia's centre-back free to start the attacks but allowed Borussia's striker to support Dudka, Polanski and Murawski's work in the middle.

With the ball on the flanks in a crossing zone, Poland covered well the penalty box with three men in front of the goalkeeper.


With the team so organized defensively, and with the defensive line very close to the midfield, Poland nullified a more technical side as Russia and made them unable to exploit the speed's qualities of their attackers. In second half, Poland was more versed in the fast-break situations, providing more support to Lewandowski. At the end, Smuda's thought to keep the men behind the ball and to start the pressure on the halfway line, in the way to launch quick breaks, was good. With a so compact team, Poland showed one of their best quality, i.e. the defensive strength. In the final 15 minutes of the game, Smuda  withdrawn Dudka, replcing him with Adrian Mierzejewski and coming back to the original 4-2-3-1. 

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