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Poland defense gives Germany gifts in their opener

Poland defense gives Germany gifts in their opener

You can't give Germany any gifts if you want to win. Poland's defense did, and paid for it.
"The German team is very good, they are a machine, but we didn't play very well in the defense," veteran Poland defender Jacek Bak said. "We gave them a couple of presents in the back today. That was the problem."
The defensive line of Bak, Pawel Golanski, Michal Zewlakow and Marcin Wasilewski struggled to coordinate their offside traps, and Germany found holes in it all night.
"We had a communication problem in holding the line, and the Germans played a couple of one-twos and twice ended up alone in front of the goal," Bak said.
In the 20th minute, Miroslav Klose beat the offside trap to latch onto a through ball and cross to an unmarked Podolski, who tapped the ball in.
Earlier, Mario Gomez slipped behind the Poland defense in the opening minutes and just missed a perfect pass in the box from Michael Ballack.
It was unclear ahead of the tournament who would start for Poland on the left side of the defense, and Poland coach Leo Beenhakker opted for Golanski on Sunday.
The Steau Bucharest defender had played solidly for Poland in qualifying, but looked shaky against Germany. His failure to cleanly clear a ball in the box in the 73rd minute directly led to Podolski's second goal.
"I'm mad at myself for the second goal because I could have played it differently," Golanski said.
It's not immediately clear what changes Poland can make ahead of its next match Thursday against Austria.
A knee injury to Grzegorz Bronowicki forced Beenhakker to leave the left back at home. He could play Jakub Wawrzyniak or Adam Kokoszka, but both players lack experience at international level.
Despite the defensive lapses, Poland was already looking ahead to its next match on Thursday.
"The Germans were good but beatable, and we made mistakes," Bak said. "What can you do? That's football. We have to draw conclusions for the Austria match."


Updated : 2021-01-26 11:37 GMT+08:00