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Poland looking to eliminate mistakes for important match against Austria at Euro 2008

Poland looking to eliminate mistakes for important match against Austria at Euro 2008

Poland must eliminate the individual mistakes it made in its opening defeat to Germany for the team's next match against co-host Austria on Thursday at the European Championship.
Coach Leo Beenhakker gathered his players in a corner of their practice field Monday for a 20-minute talk to get his team to refocus after its emotional 2-0 loss to longtime rival Germany a day earlier.
"We cannot change the result, we only can learn from the mistakes we made and reduce the mistakes we make against Austria," Beenhakker said. "The main thing, of course, is what I said and what everybody realizes, is that we still have everything in our own hands, that's the most important part.
"Nobody has to explain to us that on Thursday, Austria is in the same position: the winner is still totally in the tournament and the loser is out of the tournament."
Poland's defense looked shaky against tournament favorite Germany, and errors by defenders Marcin Wasilewski and Pawel Golanski led to both goals.
Up front, the Poles also had problems, failing to create many serious scoring opportunities despite evenly splitting possession with Germany.
"Of course we are missing something, we are missing a little bit of power in front, we know that. We don't have a (Mario) Gomez and we don't have dynamite up there like (Miroslav) Klose," said Beenhakker, referring to Germany's two strikers.
Poland's attack received a major blow Monday when forward Maciej Zurawski was ruled out of the team's remaining Group B matches.
The Poland captain underwent an MRI scan in Vienna on Monday morning, and team doctor Jerzy Grzywocz said Zurawski will be indefinitely sidelined after straining his right quadriceps in the first half against Germany.
But Zurawski's absence could turn out to be a blessing. He hasn't been in top form, failing to convert a golden scoring chance in the box against Germany and largely anonymous during the rest of his 45 minutes on the field.
Brazil-born Roger Guerreiro, who received Polish citizenship in April, replaced Zurawski after halftime and provided a creative spark for the attack with his vision and dribbling skills.
Beenhakker praised Roger's performance, and the playmaker is likely to start against Austria.
"We used Roger more as a creative midfielder, to use a little bit more the running guys like (Wojciech) Lobodzinski and (Euzebiusz) Smolarek," the coach said. "I have to say Roger responded very well."
Despite the loss to Germany _ a team against which Poland still remains winless in 16 meetings _ Beenhakker remained upbeat.
"I think that for 70 minutes, until the second goal _ which was a cold shower _ that Poland, in several parts of the match, was better or at least at the same level as Germany. I think that we played like big boys," he said. "Of course it hurts that we lost the match, especially again because it was to Germany. But we lost to the No. 4 or 5 (team) in the world. We don't have to be ashamed of it. This team gave everything they had, and that was pretty good.
"I am happy with the guys, I'm proud of them, I'm going to kick their (butt) again and Thursday we'll be ready."


Updated : 2020-12-01 20:30 GMT+08:00