Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jakub confident of home advantage

Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski says the co-hosts can achieve anything with the backing of the home crowd.

The Borussia Dortmund star was the hero in Poland’s second Group A match, scoring a stunning equaliser as the host nation secured their second 1-1 draw of the tournament against Russia in Warsaw.

With two soccer games down and one to go, Poland must now beat Czech Republic on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

"We'll do everything we can. We're tired but happy. With the sort of support we had here from the fans, we are capable of achieving a lot," Blaszczykowski said.

"I believe that we can secure a historic advance to the quarter-finals."

Russia, who began their campaign with a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Czechs, took the lead when Alan Dzagoev turned in Andrey Arshavin’s free-kick for his third goal of Euro 2012.

However, Poland continued to attack and found a way back into the contest just before the hour.

Blaszczykowsk collected Lukasz Piszczek’s pass before unleashing an unstoppable left-shot past Vyacheslav Malafeev.

"We have made a lot of effort for this game. All the tactics, all the plans came together - we only missed the positive result, the winning result," Blaszczykowski added.

"We have this character and charisma. We're still in the game, we have two points. We're still in the tournament, so with this point, a win in our final match puts us into the knockout stage."

The result put Russia on the brink of the last eight and Dick Advocaat was pleased to come through a fierce test.

"I thought Russia were a better team than Poland, but it was a very good game and we played really well," said Advocat, whose Russia side are considered dark horses for the tournament in online gambling markets.

"It was a pretty good result because they had 40,000 people behind them, and that is a big advantage."

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