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Poland coach never feared Germany goal in stalemate

Football Soccer - Germany v Poland - EURO 2016 - Group C - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - 16/6/16 Poland head coach Adam Nawalka REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach Livepic
Football Soccer - Germany v Poland - EURO 2016 - Group C - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - 16/6/16Poland head coach Adam Nawalka REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachLivepic

By Matt Smith

PARIS (Reuters) - Poland coach Adam Nawalka said he was never concerned about Germany scoring a breakthrough goal as his team held the world champions to a 0-0 draw in Euro 2016 Group C on Thursday.

Germany were neat in possession but created little in attack as their flair players failed to breach Poland's unyielding defence.

"If you ask me if I was worried we were going to concede a goal, no I wasn't," Nawalka told a news conference.

"There were periods when Germany had the initiative but we were giving them that space consciously in order to move from their pressing to (our) counter attacks."

After a dour first half, Poland were more adventurous in the second and created the best chances of the match.

However, striker Arkadiusz Milik, who grabbed the winner in their first game against Northern Ireland, fluffed both.

He failed to connect properly with a header from five metres and also missed the ball completely near the penalty spot with the goal gaping.

"We created some very good scoring chances," said Nawalka whose team are level with Germany on four points from two games, one ahead of Northern Ireland. Already-eliminated Ukraine have zero points.

"I couldn't be fully happy with what happened. We didn't score a goal but 0-0 is a fair result."

Nawalka's assessment reflected a new-found confidence among the Poles who are aiming to qualify for the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time since 1986.

"Germany are one of the best teams in the world, both as a collective and as individual players," said Nawalka who masterminded his country's first competitive win over their rivals in the qualifying campaign.

"When you play against a team like Germany at such a high level, it's satisfying for us to see how we have developed."

Striker and captain Robert Lewandowski has yet to score in the tournament and sometimes cut a frustrated figure at the Stade de France, howling at the unfortunate Milik after his partner failed to deliver a simple through ball.

Nawalka, though, was fulsome in his praise for the skipper.

"Lewandowski's performance in every single match is incredibly important for our game plan," said the coach.

"He is working for the team, doing tremendous work and is taking a lot of attention from the defenders. Thanks to that other players have goalscoring chances."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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