The Season Ticket
Euro 2020 | Skriniar fires Slovakia to victory over 10-man Poland
Slovakia have beaten 10-man Poland 2-1 in their opening Euro 2020 Group E fixture at St Petersburg.
Pavel Hapal's side took the lead in the 18th minute through an Wojciech Szczesny own goal after a dazzling run from Robert Mak.
Karol Linetty drew Poland a level a minute into the second half before Paulo Sousa's side were reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark when midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak was shown a second yellow and sent off.
Inter Milan centre back Milan Skriniar's excellent low drive then restored Slovakia's lead in the 69th minute, ensuring a winning start to Euro 2020 for the 'away' side.
Slovakia carved out the game's first real chance in the 14th minute, with Ondrej Duda cutitng inside from the left flank and squeezing a low shot from 20 yards narrowly wide of the near post.
Five minutes later, Hapal's men took the lead.
Mak picked up the ball on the left wing and dribbled past Kamil Jozwiak before nutmegging Bartosz Bereszynski and bearing down on goal. The 30-year-old's powerful low strike hit the post before rebounding off Szczesny's back and into the net, making Szczesny the first goalkeeper to score an own goal in European Championships history.
Juraj Kucka then went close on two occasions; first by forcing Szczesny to tip an effort from distance over the crossbar, before powering a header on target which the Juventus and Poland 'keeper also saved.
Poland struggled to fashion any sort of response in the first half, failing to register a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.
However, Sousa's side were level within a minute of the restart.
After good work from Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich, Maciej Rubus found Linetty in the box and the attacker applied a side-footed finish from 10 yards to make it 1-1.
Poland then suffered a huge blow when Krychowiak was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Jakub Hromada in midfield. Slovakia, captained my Marek Hamsik, made their numerical advantage count less than 10 minutes later.
Mak's corner eventually fell to Skriniar on the edge of the box, and the centre half took a perfect touch before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner to restore Slovakia's lead.
Slovakia 'keeper Martin Dubravka then saved from Poland substitute Karol Swiderski in stoppage time as Slovakia held on for an impressive win in their opening Group E match.
Slovakia will now take on Sweden at St Petersburg Stadium on Friday.
Poland, who have now failed to win their opening game at nine of the last 10 major tournaments, travel to Spain to face Luis Enrique's men on Saturday.