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Published: 18:17 | 12/6/16

Poland beat Northern Ireland in Nice


Arek Milik scored the only goal of the game as Poland beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in their Group C opener in Nice.

Poland finally recorded a win in the European Championships at the seventh attempt to bring Northern Ireland's 12-match unbeaten run to a thudding halt.

Northern Ireland were pegged deep into their own half in the opening 45 minutes, failing to produce a shot on the Poland goal or even a touch in the opposition box.

That they got to the break without conceding was due in no small part to the resolute defending of Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans against the Poland strike pair of Robert Lewandowski and Milik.

Michael O'Neill's side restricted Poland to just two chances, a shot over the bar from Ajax forward Milik and Bartosz Kapustka's effort which was brilliantly tipped over by Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

It couldn't last, and Milik finally broke the deadlock on 51 minutes with an emphatic left-footed finish from Jakub Blaszczykowski's cross which went through the legs of Craig Cathcart and beyond McGovern.

Northern Ireland kept their shape and composure, and created a couple of half-chances in the latter stages of the match, but Conor Washington, Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty couldn't beat Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland goal.

O'Neill's side will next face Ukraine in Lyon on Thursday, while Poland meet world champions Germany in Paris later in the evening.

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