Frankfurt – Germany leapfrogged Poland in 2016 UEFA European Championship qualifying Group D after recording a 3-1 win in Frankfurt on Thursday evening.
Joachim Löw’s men were eager for revenge after losing 2-0 in Warsaw in October last year and began superbly at the Commerzbank Arena. FC Bayern München attacker Thomas Müller opened the scoring in the 12th minute after excellent build-up play between Karim Bellarabi and Jonas Hector, with the latter also providing the assist for Mario Götze to make it 2-0 shortly afterwards with a drilled effort from the edge of the area.
Poland reduced the deficit before the break, however, when Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored a brilliant diving header that Manuel Neuer was powerless to stop. That effort encouraged the visitors to go on the front foot after the break and they could have equalised but for Neuer’s brilliance between the posts. They would rue those misses when Götze pounced on the rebound after Müller’s shot had been saved, giving Germany a 3-1 victory.
Man of the match
Germany started brightly but lost some of their self-assurance after conceding and it was largely thanks to Neuer that they held on to all three points. The world’s best goalkeeper was called into action on several occasions and pulled off a number of outstanding saves, most notably stopping a fierce volley from Lewandowski, who had been sent through one-on-one on the stroke of half-time.
Not only did Lewandowski’s eye-catching goal give the visitors hope of a comeback, it also underlined his status as one of the most feared strikers in the world. The 27-year-old has now hit eight goals in UERO 2016 qualifying, making him the continent’s top scorer en route to the tournament, averaging a goal every 78 minutes.
Stats of the match
- Ilkay Gündogan won more challenges than any other player on the pitch (15).
- An end-to-end affair finished with Germany having 21shots on goal to Poland’s 14.
- In his 64th international appearance, Müller scored his 28th senior goal for Germany.