Stubborn Poland hold toothless Germany to goalless draw
By John Irish
PARIS (Reuters) - Poland held uninspired Germany to the first 0-0 draw of Euro 2016 on Thursday as the world champions struggled to break down their dogged opponents, leaving both sides satisfied with a point in the end.
The result means the pair, who won their opening games, need a point in their final Group C matches against Ukraine and Northern Ireland respectively on Tuesday to guarantee reaching the last 16.
Ukraine, who have yet to get a point, cannot progress and will finish bottom of the section.
Germany were playing their first game at the Stade de France since the deadly November attacks in Paris when they also failed to score in a 2-0 defeat by the hosts.
On Thursday, they came out zipping the ball around early on, poking and prodding at the Poles but, with focal point Mario Goetze consistently dropping off, they lacked conviction in the final third and the Polish defense looked more than comfortable.
"We did not win one-on-ones. We did not have movement and we should be happy with the draw," man-of-the-match Boateng said. "We were good defensively, but in attack there was a lot missing. We have to be more aggressive."
Boateng looked solid alongside his usual central defensive partner Mats Hummels, who coach Joachim Loew rushed back into the starting lineup after the team's unconvincing display at the back in their opening 2-0 win against Ukraine.
Germany and neighboring Poland, who last met at a European Championship in a feisty game in 2008, failed to conjure a shot on target in the first half in front of a packed and boisterous crowd. Continued...