Poland, Jun 13: Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland kept their chances of a quarter-finals berth alive after drawing 1-1 with Russia, putting on ice their opponents' hopes of clinching the first slot in the knock-out phase.
The Poles, needing to take at least a point from the Group A match in the wake of their 1-1 tournament opener against Greece on Friday, were keenly aware of Russia's high-octane 4-1 performance against the Czech Republic the same night.
A goal by Alan Dzagoev yesterday in the first-half - his third of the tournament - was cancelled out in spectacular fashion in the second-half by Polish captain Kuba Blaszczykowski.
Dutch coach Dick Advocaat praised Poland for their performance but added he was happy with the point.
“Poland played very well tonight being under the risk of losing the chance to win a place in the last eight if they lost,” he said.
“Meanwhile, we allowed them to create too many chances in attack.
“That means we still need to strengthen our defence. We also played well and scored before the break and had many chances in the second but we missed them all. In general, I'd say the draw is a good result for us,” said the 64-year-old Dutchman.
Russian captain Andrei Arshavin said that while the point was welcome they only had themselves to blame for allowing the Poles back into the game.
“We started well and took the lead but after the break we played too loosely allowing Poland to reply on dangerous counter-attacks,” he said.