Poland Vs. Russia: Kuba's Stunning Equalizer Earns Co-Hosts Draw

Alan Dzagoev put Russia ahead in the first half, but Jakub Blaszczykowski equalized for Poland and the two teams split the points.

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Poland Vs. Russia, Euro 2012: Final Score, Hosts Draw Again, 1-1

Poland have kept themselves alive in Euro 2012, but they need to win their final game to progress to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Russia will be disappointed with their performance on Tuesday night, but they've done enough that a draw against Greece will be good enough to see them through.

The hosts were on top of Russia for good chunks of their match and certainly created the better scoring chances, but it took them until the 57th minute to score their first and only goal in a 1-1 draw. Vyacheslav Malafeev was excellent in goal for Russia, making eight saves, but he had absolutely no shot at saving Jakub Blaszczykowski's equalizer.

Alan Dzagoev netted the opener in the 37th minute with Russia's first shot on target of the match. The Russians struggled to create anything in the first half-hour of the match and looked nothing like the team that ran over the Czech Republic, but it would be unfair to say that they didn't deserve their goal. It came on a brilliant free kick by Andrei Arshavin, which he curled into the box right onto the head of Dzagoev. The delivery was so good that Dzagoev only needed to apply a slight touch to direct the ball past Przemyslaw Tyton with pace, putting Russia up 1-0.

Poland almost equalized instantly after the halftime whistle, with Eugen Polanski sending Robert Lewandowski towards goal with a brilliant through ball. Lewandowski got around Malafeev, but Russia's defense did well to cut off all of his available shooting and passing lanes, and the best that he could do was create a corner kick that ultimately led to nothing.

Kuba would finally score Poland's much deserved equalizer in the 57th minute. Ludovic Obraniak started the move with a great pass down the right flank for Blaszczykowski, who took the ball inside. Yuri Zhirkov showed Blaszczykowski onto his left foot and was made to pay when Kuba bent an incredible shot around the outstretched arm of Malafeev at the far post, eliciting a roar from the crowd at the National Stadium.

Perhaps the most decisive move made by either manager was the decision of Poland's Franciszek Smuda to introduce Dariusz Dudka. Poland were not terrific in the center of midfield in their opener, while Russia were excellent. The midfield battle was a bit of a stalemate in this one, and Russia failed to create chances. Dudka had five interceptions, the most of any Poland midfielder, before he was taken off in an attacking substitution.

Poland won't necessarily be thrilled by the result against Russia considering how many chances they were able to generate, but they'll be happy with their play and the knowledge that they control their own destiny in their final match of the group stage.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Poland vs. Russia, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Poland Vs. Russia, Euro 2012: Kuba Makes It 1-1 With A Screamer

Goodness me, that might just be the goal of the tournament so far.

Poland have levelled through Borussia Dortmund's Jakub "Kuba" Blaszczykowski, and it was an absolutely unbelievable piece of play. A simple pass from Ludovic Obraniak saw the winger pick up possession in the right channel, but he still had plenty of work to do in order to threaten Vyacheslav Malafeev's goal.

One touch took him inside Yuri Zhirkov, with the ball running parallel to the goal. The second touch was a shot. A screaming, blistering shot that rocketed its way into the top corner to make it 1-1. It came just moments after a long spell of Russia pressure that could easily have seen the visitors double their lead, but thanks to a severe case of profligacy from Andrei Arshavin and company, we're got ourselves a new game. Both teams will be looking for the win now, so don't expect the end-to-end pace to let up.

What a goal!

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Poland Vs. Russia, Euro 2012: Halftime Score, Alan Dzagoev Has Russians Up 1-0

Poland and Russia are putting on a show in Warsaw, with the political tensions between the two nations and sets of fans apparently failing to affect the teams. The match has had plenty of intensity, but certainly nothing overly physical or dirty. Both teams are playing some very nice football and it's been a fast-paced match.

The hosts have had their opportunities to score, but it's Russia who go into the locker room with a lead. Poland did an excellent job defending Russia's attacks from open play for most of the first half, but their back line fell asleep on a set piece and they allowed a man much too small to regularly win headers on set pieces to win a header on a set piece.

Vyacheslav Malafeev was forced into the first big save of the first half, not that he knew anything about it. Sebastian Boenich was the man who created the chance, heading a cross on goal in the 7th minute, but Malafeev's positioning was good and the ball bounced off his knee. A minute later, Malafeev had to make yet another save on a Boenisch header and came up big again.

Poland appeared to score the opener in the 18th minute, but they were flagged for offside. Eugen Polanski got on the end of a through ball following a fantastic team move and applied the finish, but replays showed that he moved on the pass too early and that he was nearly a yard offside.

The hosts continued to attack and look like the better side until around the half-hour mark, when Russia started to look like the better team. Their improved play eventually led to a 37th minute goal, scored by Alan Dzagoev. Andrei Arshavin provided the assist with a well-taken free kick curled into the center of the box from the left flank, and Dzagoev completely lost his marker before nodding the ball past a helpless Przemyslaw Tyton.

Russia continued to apply pressure through the end of the half and probably should have had an opportunity to add another goal from the penalty spot. In first half stoppage time, Dzagoev was clearly taken down in the penalty area but the referee waived play on.

Poland will be encouraged by the way that they've played, but they're still down a goal after taking just one point from their first match. Moral victories don't mean much when a team has one point through two matches at a major tournament. They're going to need to find a way to avoid a loss in the second half.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Poland vs. Russia, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Poland Vs. Russia, Euro 2012: Dzagoev Gives Russia The Lead

We're most of the way through what's been an excellent first half, and we've finally had a goal. A real goal, not the admittedly lovely Eugen Polanski one that was ruled out for offside twenty minutes in. It's Russia who've taken the lead, making the most of a foul by on left back Yuri Zhirkov. Andrei Arshavin swung in the free kick, and some very lax marking on Poland's part allowed Alan Dzagoev to get his head to the delivery and buried it past Przemyslaw Tyton for a 1-0 lead.

Don't expect that to hold up, though. This has been a thrilling, open match thus far, and both teams have looked exceptionally dangerous. Russia will obviously be happy they're 1-0 up, but they can't have any expectation that they'll be able to sit back and defend their lead against a very adventurous Poland side. A win here would guarantee qualification to the next round for Russia, although Poland might still be able to advance even with a loss.

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Poland And Russia Fans Clash In Warsaw

Police have been forced to intervene in Warsaw as Poland and Russia fans clash ahead of their Euro 2012 match.

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