Jakub Błaszczykowski's stunning second-half equaliser earned him the Carlsberg Man of the Match award as Poland came from behind to earn a well-deserved point against Russia in Group A.
Although they dominated most of the game, the co-hosts seemed to be heading for defeat following Alan Dzagoev's first-half opener – his third goal of the tournament. However, Poland responded strongly after the break and it was the captain, Błaszczykowski – or Kuba, as he is nicknamed – who brought them level on 57 minutes. Picking up a pass from Ludovic Obraniak, he stepped inside the area and curled an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net past Vyacheslav Malafeev.
Presenting him with his award, former French international Christian Karembeu applauded the quality of Błaszczykowski's goal, but the Borussia Dortmund midfielder modestly played it down, preferring instead to share the praise with his team-mates.
"It's always good to score the equalising goal," said Błaszczykowski. "However,
I think the whole team deserves the praise, because every one of us put a lot into this game. Our tactical plan was carried out completely and it had its effect." The draw means that Poland are now in charge of their own destiny in Group A and Błaszczykowski knows that a win against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw on Saturday will be enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.
"We're still in the game, we've got two points and the final match still to come," he added. "If we win, we get to the quarter-finals, so theoretically it's going according to our expectations. Of course we would have preferred to have qualification tied up earlier, but we're still in it. The final match is going to be pretty interesting."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.