Euro 2016: Northern Ireland vs Poland… Live!
Thirty years of hurt, hmm? If not winning a major trophy counts as thirty years of hurt, then how do we think Northern Ireland fans might feel after thirty years without having qualified for the finals of a major tournament? Northern Ireland vs Poland has a hint of the early 1980s vibe about it. Northern Ireland’s team at the time of that era made two successive World Cups, whilst Poland reached the semi-finals in 1982. Can one of these two cause a surprise this summer? With Wales having beaten Slovakia yesterday, Northern Ireland may well be feeling confident as British underdogs, but we shall see.
Their group may not have been the most difficult one in the world, but for Northern Ireland to be here in the first place is still a significant achievement. They finished top of it, too, ahead of Romania and Hungary, who also qualified for these finals through the play-offs. Qualification from a considerably tougher group was managed by Poland. They finished as runners-up behind Germany – who are also in this finals group, alongside Ukraine – and with the Republic of Ireland finishing in third place. They also qualified through the play-offs. There is, of course, only one name on the lips of many watching this Poland team. Much of their team is a little run of the mill, but striker Robert Lewandowski is probably the best in Europe at the moment, and may be the best in the world. We’ll be back shortly before kick-off to bring you the entire match.
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