Fran Reilly joined Extratime.ie in February 2015 having previously written for the Drogheda/Fingal Independents, loi19.com and the Cork City matchday programme. Though only part of the ET family for a relatively short time, the Donaghmede native has already had the opportunity to cover League of Ireland clubs both domestically and in Europe, as well as Republic of Ireland internationals. He can count Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane and Dutch footballing legend Ruud Gullit amongst those he has come face-to-face with during his line of ET work. He still hopes to someday meet Henrik Larsson. <br /><br /> Fran was once sent to watch Lionel Messi play in the Aviva Stadium for Barcelona but left feeling underwhelmed as his performance fell some way short of replicating Wes Hoolahan's against Deportivo la Coruna in August 2004. That famous night was enough to make Fran a Shels fan and he even pulled on the red shirt himself once for Owen Heary's tribute match in November 2013. Hilariously, he saw a penalty saved by unforgiving goalkeeper Lee Murphy, then at Bohemians. <br /><br /> His one day spell as a member of the Extratime media six-a-side panel fared no better, his status as a reporter coming under threat following a string of less than inspirational performances. However, he convinced the ET hierarchy to persevere with him so he lingers on, covering whatever clubs he can reach by public transport. You can follow Fran on Twitter (@FranTomReilly) where he spends most of his time retweeting other people's LOI views and news and claiming them as his own. <br /><br />
|Competition: Euro 2016 Group C Venue: Stade Vélodrome - Marseille Attendance: 58,874 Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)|
Ruslan Roton - Yellow Card (25')
Oleksandr Kucher - Yellow Card (38')
Tue 21 Jun 2016
0 - 1
Jakub Blaszczykowski - Goal (54')
Bartosz Kapustka - Yellow Card (60')
Euro 2016 Report: Ukraine 0 - 1 Poland
Published: June 22, 2016
Perhaps John O'Shea is the reason Robert Lewandowski hasn't scored in his last five internationals. The fear. (Credit: Andy McDonnell)
A Jakub Blaszczykowski goal was enough to give Poland a 1-0 win over Ukraine in Marseille and to secure second place in Group C.
The Poles will now face Switzerland, runners-up in Group A, in the last-16 on Saturday in Saint Etienne. As for Ukraine, their Euro 2016 tournament is over after suffering three losses from three games, though they were much improved from their first two defeats in this match.
Mykhailo Fomenko's side will feel aggrieved to come away with nothing having finished the match with 64% possession and 19 attempts on goal to Poland's nine.
In the end, only one attempt mattered, Blaszczykowski's excellent close range finish following a neatly worked short corner routine being the difference. With that goal, the 30 year old became the first Polish player to score in two different European Championships.
Poland flew out of the traps, with Arkadiusz Milik stinging Ukrainian 'keeper Andriy Pyatov's palms early on when he broke through down the left side. However, it was Robert Lewandowski who should have had Adam Nawalka's side ahead as early as the third minute.
The ball fell to him in a perfect position inside the area, but with the whole goal to aim at the Bayern Munich striker fired over the bar. He has now gone five games without a goal for Poland.
Ukraine had a bright start themselves, with Michal Pazden needing to be sharp to get across the box to block an Andriy Yarmolenko effort on goal. The Dynamo Kiev winger then wasted Ukraine's best chance of the game in the 17th minute.
The Polish backline was caught high up the pitch and Yaramolenko broke free down the right side. However, when one-on-one with Poland 'keeper Lukasz Fabianski, he fired wide of the top corner. A glorious chance squandered.
Kamil Glik thought he put Poland ahead in the 21st minute when Milik picked him out in the box, but the defender's header went just over the bar.
Eight minutes later, Yevhen Konoplyanka drifted inside from the left flank and attempted to beat Fabianksi at his near-post, but his shot flew just wide with the 'keeper looking like he had it covered.
Three minutes after the restart, Oleksandr Zinechenko powered a header over the bar from a Konoplyanka cross. A goal was coming from somewhere and it would be Poland who broke the deadlock in the 54th minute.
Milik played a short corner to Bartosz Kapustka before taking the return pass on the corner of the box. The Ajax frontman slipped a reverse ball into the unmarked Blaszczykowski.
With plenty sill to do inside the area, the Dortmund winger – who spent last season on loan at Fiorentina – rolled the ball with his right foot past Ukraine skipper Ruslan Rotan on the right-hand side of the six yard box before firing an unstoppable left-footed effort high into the top corner, giving Pyatov no chance.
Kapustka almost doubled the lead immediately when he shot just wide of the near-post after cutting inside, but Ukraine race up the other end and passed up a succession of chances through Zinechenko, Konoplyanka, Yarmolenko and Roman Zozulya.
For all their huffing and puffing, Ukraine couldn't find a way through and Poland's record of having never lost when Blaszczykowski has scored remains intact. It was his 17th goal for Poland and it ensured a first win for him over Ukraine at the fourth attempt.
Ukraine: Andriy Pyatov; Artem Fedetskiy, Yevhen Khacheridi, Oleksandr Kucher, Bohdan Butko; Andriy Yarmolenko, Taras Stepanenko, Ruslan Rotan, Yevhen Konoplyanka; Oleksandr Zinchenko (Viktor Kovalenko, 73); Roman Zozulya (Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, 90+2).
Subs not used: Denys Boyko (GK), Mykyta Shevchenko (GK), Pylyp Budkivskiy, Mykhaylo Fomenko, Denys Garmash, Oleksandr Karavaev, Serhiy Rybalka, Vyacheslav Shevchuk, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Yevhen Seleznyov, Serhiy Sydorchuk.
Bookings: R Rotan (25), O Kucher (38).
Poland: Lukasz Fabianski; Thiago Cionek, Michal Pazden, Kamil Glik, Artur Jedrzejczyk; Piotr Zielinsk (Jakub Blaszczykowski, HT), Tomasz Jodlowiec, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Bartosz Kapustka, (Kamil Grosicki, 71); Arkadiusz Milik (Filip Starzynski, 90+3); Robert Lewandowski.
Subs not used: Artur Boruc (GK), Wojciech Szczesny (GK), Jakub Wawrzyniak, Mariusz Stepinski, Bartosz Salamon, Karol Linetty, Lukasz Piszczek, Krzysztof Maczynski, Slawomir Peszko.
Bookings: B Kapustka (60).
Referee: Svein Oddvar (NOR).
Extratime Man of the Match: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Poland).