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JUST IN: Lewandowski’s Ballon D’ Or chase suffers setback at EURO 2020

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Efforts by Poland striker, Robert Lewandowski, to boost his chances of winning Ballon D’Or this year through the ongoing European nations cup have suffered some setbacks after the Poland national team led by the forward fell to Slovakia 2-1 after their first match at the tournament.

Lewandowski, who had prepared on time after sustaining injuries while playing for German Bundesliga Champion, Bayern Munich, to lead Polish team to the tournament could not find the back of the goal-net even after playing 90 minutes of the encounter.

The strategy adopted by Lewandowski and other members of the team to turn around the game on Monday was said to have been abandoned after Grzegorz Krychowiak, bagged a red card from Romanian referee, Ovidiu Hategan, over a wrong tackle on Slovakian Jakub Hromada, at the 62nd minute of the game.

Lewandowski, who came into the tournament on the backdrop that he had scored over 40 league goals, setting new global and Bundesliga league records, was cut short of supply by the Slovakian team led by former Napoli creative midfielder, Marek Hamšík.

The Polish team’s woes started barely 18 minutes into the game after their goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, who also doubles as an Italian giant, Juventus, shot-stopper set an unfortunate record during the match, becoming first goalkeeper to ever be responsible for an own goal in a European tournament.

Szczesny, who could not deal with a strike from Robert Mak, a mistake that caused the team to concede early in the game that was played in their Group E opener in Saint Petersburg.

The Poles responded almost immediately after half-time as Karol Linetty turned in Maciej Rybus’ cross from the left flank, bringing the game to a parallel level but a new twist occurred when Grzegorz Krychowiak was dismissed for two bookable offenses.

Following the referee’s decision, Slovakia seized the initiative and Milan Skriniar notched the decisive goal in the contest with a firm strike from 12 yards to secure a win for his team.

In another four and five days respectively, Slovakia was expected to file out next in action against Sweden in Saint Petersburg on Friday, while Poland travels to Seville to take on Spain a day after.


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