Euro 2016 Group C Roundup: Germany top with win over Northern Ireland, while Poland finish as runners up
Germany top Group C after defeating Northern Ireland 1-0
With Germany already having confirmed their progression to the knockout stages of UEFA Euro 2016, Joachim Loew made a few changes, with Joshua Kimmich and Mario Gomez starting. The Germans opened the game with a stunning blitzkrieg, with Muller and Kimmich spurning great chances to give Germany the lead inside the opening 15 minutes.
The German attacking quartet of Ozil, Meller, Gomez and Gotze tormented the Northern Irish defence throughout the half, with Muller missing another couple of chances, including one that came off the post. Mario Gomez finally gave Die Mannschaft a deserved lead in the 29th minute, after Muller was sent clear in the box by an Ozil pass, but he turned around and laid the ball off for Gomez to slam home the opener.
Muller saw another shot cannon off the crossbar, while Gomez went close in the dying stages of the first half, leading to the referee saving Northern Ireland further blushes by blowing for half time.
Gotze went close in the opening stages of the second half, as McGovern pulled off some amazing saves in the Northern Ireland goal to keep his country still in the game. However, the keeper was left thanking his stars after Mario Gomez headed wide after McGovern could only parry Khedira’s shot on the hour mark.
McGovern had to be at his best yet again in the 80th minute, after Kimmich put in an umpteenth cross from the right that deserved a goal, and Gomez responded, placing a downward header at goal, but McGovern struck an arm out and denied the Germans yet again. It didn’t matter in the end, as Germany finished top of Group C with a 1-0 win, with superior goal difference to Poland.
Baszczykowski gives Poland a nervy 1-0 win over Ukraine
Poland required only a draw to confirm their place in the knockout stages, but they started the game on fire. Milik and Lewandowski missed great chances to give Poland and early lead, but Ukraine grew into the game as the half progressed, having legitimate appeals for a penalty turned down. Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka also went close for the eliminated side as the half ended, but spurned good chances, which meant that the two sides went into the break with the game goalless.
Jakub Baszczykowski came on for Zieliski at half-time, and the former Borussia Dortmund star made a telling contribution in the 54th minute. From a short corner, Milik set up Baszczykowski in the box, who dummied his way past Rotan before curling a sweetly struck shot with his left foot into the bottom corner to give Poland the lead.
Zozulya went close for Ukraine late on, as the eliminated side continued to dominate the game, but were ultimately denied as they lost the game to Poland, who finished second in Group C, while Ukraine finished bottom without any points in UEFA Euro 2016.
Final Group C standings
**Note: Best 4 of 3rd placed teams qualify for the next round