Optimism reigns in the Poland camp after their 1-1 draw against Russia, with defender Sebastian Boenisch now looking forward to "a real final" against the Czech Republic on Saturday.
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There was obvious contentment in the Poland camp after Jakub Błaszczykowski's thunderous drive salvaged a 1-1 draw against Group A leaders Russia in Warsaw. Defender Sebastian Boenisch concluded that the co-hosts "can be satisfied" with the result and is now looking forward to "a real final" on Saturday, when Franciszek Smuda's men must beat the Czech Republic in their final pool outing to reach the last eight.
Sebastian Boenisch, Poland defender
Well I think it was a very nice match for us, and for the fans. We had to give our best. We fell behind in the first half from a set piece. The Russians hadn't created a chance up to that point. At half-time we then said that although we were 1-0 down, it didn't mean anything and that we'd go out again and fight – and that's what we did in the second half.
We managed to fight back. We played attacking football and even wanted to score the second. I think we can be satisfied with the 1-1 draw and now we have a real final against the Czech Republic.
Jakub Błaszczykowski, Poland midfielder
It was a very difficult match. The Russians have shown that they are a very good side. I've just seen my goal on TV. I think I got a good pass from Eugen [Polanski], I moved towards the centre and hit it towards the far post. The goalkeeper didn't have much chance, really. A very beautiful goal.
The group situation is interesting. Even the Russians cannot be sure. Everything is open, but what happened tonight is now history. We are focused on what's coming up and will do everything to beat the Czech Republic. We are full of optimism ahead of that match. With support from the stands like we received tonight, I believe we will take the historic step of reaching the quarter-finals in Wroclaw.
Rafał Murawski, Poland midfielder
I'm very positive about how the match panned out – it was a very good game with a nice high tempo. Both sides had decent chances and it must have been a good game to watch. I think the fans will have enjoyed it.
The Russians are strong – we knew that before their match against the Czechs – but I think we played well and were solid tactically. We had watched their previous games and they played exactly the way we expected them to. We did our job really well and it was an even match.
We wanted to sit a bit deeper and deny them dangerous counterattacks. It worked really well and we had chances in both halves. The Czech Republic game is now, of course, a very important game. Who knows, maybe the most important game in recent years. We have to win and this is what we are going to Wroclaw to do. The Czechs are within our reach, but they do play good football.