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Modest Milik shares Poland credit

"I finally did my job," said Arkadiusz Milik after his goal gave Poland their first EURO finals victory, adding: "I'm happy that I scored but it's the victory that counts most."

Poland's Arkadiusz Milik after scoring the only goal against Northern Ireland
Poland's Arkadiusz Milik after scoring the only goal against Northern Ireland ©Getty Images

His goal against Northern Ireland may have secured Poland's first ever win in a UEFA European Championship, but for Arkadiusz Milik it was simply a case of a job well done.

Milik's 51st-minute strike proved enough for three points at the Stade de Nice, with Poland's President Andrzej Duda joining the players in the dressing room afterwards to offer his congratulations. "I'm extremely happy that I scored and even happier that we won, because in the end it's the victory that counts," the forward told EURO2016.com.

"If I was to assess how I played, there were good moments, there were slightly worse ones – some stupid mistakes and missed chances. But a striker is judged on goals and I finally did my job."

The 22-year-old Ajax attacker, who netted six times in qualifying, had passed up a good opportunity in the first half, but needed no second invitation when picked out by Jakub Błaszczykowski's cross early in the second period. "The miss happened, there's nothing to be done about it. That's how matches are, things like that happen. Maybe I was overdoing it, trying to make it harder for my opponents. But I had a second chance and I took it."

Sunday's game in Nice was Poland's seventh at a EURO, and the long-awaited victory had a special taste for Adam Nawałka's squad. "It certainly feels very nice – we realise we've achieved something – but there's still a long way to go in this tournament," Milik said.

Man of the match Grzegorz Krychowiak added: "The feeling is great. And the pressure? If you wear this shirt, with the eagle on your chest, there is always pressure. But it drives us. We know we have a big responsibility, but it's nice."

While the Sevilla midfielder collected the match's individual prize, he was keen to share the credit, noting: "This is reward for the 11 players who started this fixture and the three who came on. We played against a team who defended well for 90 minutes.

"We created some good chances but we scored only one – because we were playing tough opponents. The adventure continues. This is just the beginning and our hopes are very high."

Krychowiak's efforts drew praise from Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who had based his approach in part on countering the Poland man's threat. "In the early part we hoped Steven Davis could maybe stifle Krychowiak in running the game, but we're looking at a world-class midfielder here."

Next up for Poland: Germany – who they beat in qualifying ...