Live Commentary: Poland Under-21s 2-2 Sweden Under-21s - as it happened
Relive the 2-2 draw between Poland and Sweden as the host nation Poland scored a stoppage-time penalty to keep their Under-21 European Championship campaign alive.
By Barney Corkhill, Staff Reporter Filed: Monday, June 19, 2017 at 19:14 UK
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017 at 23:51 UK
Host nation Poland kept their Under-21 European Championship semi-final hopes alive with a stoppage-time penalty to earn a 2-2 draw with Sweden at the Lublin Arena this evening.
Poland took the lead in just the sixth minute when Lukasz Moneta broke the deadlock, but for the second game in a row they failed to hold on to that advantage and goals from Carlos Strandberg and Jacob Une-Larsson put Sweden in front heading into the break.
Defeat would have seen Poland eliminated with one game of the group stages still to go, but Dawid Kownacki's 91st-minute penalty saw them live to fight another day.
Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.
7.15pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Under-21 European Championship Group A clash between hosts Poland and holders Sweden! Both of these sides come into this match knowing that anything other than victory could prove fatal to their hopes of reaching the semi-finals due to the unforgiving nature of the tournament set-up, so hopefully we will be in for an action-packed and entertaining contest! Before we have a more in-depth look, though, let's check out the team news...
7.21pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then? Well, Poland have made two changes to the side that was beaten by Slovakia in the first game, including an enforced one which sees Leicester winger Kapustka miss out with an ankle injury. Lipski is also absent from the starting XI despite scoring the Poland goal in that defeat to Slovakia, with Kownacki and Moneta being selected in their places. Poland's biggest goal threat is expected to be Stepinski, who has eight goals in 16 appearances at this level.
7.23pmSweden, meanwhile, make just the one change from their goalless draw with England, and that comes up front as Standberg comes in for Engvall. Tonight will be a particularly strange occasion for Sweden forward Cibicki, who played for Poland at Under-19 and Under-20 level before committing himself to Sweden in August 2016. He hit the crossbar in that draw with England, while Wahlqvist was the one to see his penalty saved.
7.25pmEngland's victory over Slovakia earlier today has changed the landscape of Group A once again, making it even more important for both of these sides to win. Defeat would realistically leave no way back, particularly for Poland who currently prop up the rest of the group. This Under-21s format is very unforgiving for any slip-ups, and Poland loss to Slovakia on the opening matchday means that their remaining two group games are more or less must-win matches. Certainly anything other than a win tonight would essentially end their chances of reaching the semi-finals.
7.27pmThat would make for a very disappointing showing on home soil, although it perhaps wouldn't come as the biggest surprise. Poland qualified for this tournament automatically as hosts, of course, but this is their first appearance at the Under-21 Euros since 1994. They have never fared very well in previous editions either, winning just one of their 10 previous Under-21 European Championship outings, and losing six in that time.
7.29pmPoland's form coming into tonight's game will be worrying for the home fans too. Marcin Dorna's side have lost each of their last three outings, all by a 2-1 scoreline. It is their worst run of form since a four-game losing streak in September 2010, and it has come at the worst possible time for their Euro 2017 hopes. Poland were actually in decent form before that with just one defeat in 11 games, most of which were friendlies while the qualification campaign was going on.
7.31pmWhat's more, Poland had kept an impressive eight clean sheets in that 11-game unbeaten streak prior to this recent three-game losing run, conceding only three goals in that time. In fact, they even produced an impressive 1-0 victory over Germany as recently as November, and considering the Germans are amongst the favourites to lift the trophy this summer, that may have raised expectations before this dip in form.
7.33pmIt looks like an opportune moment for Sweden to face the hosts, then, particularly when they are in need of a win themselves. They were perhaps a little unfortunate to only take a point from their opening match with England having hit the crossbar and missed a penalty during the 90 minutes, but the Young Lions are now in control of the group and only victory tonight would see Sweden keep pace with the new leaders.
7.35pmOnly top spot in the group guarantees a team a place in the semi-finals, and should Sweden drop points in two of their matches then it will be very difficult for them to get the final last-four place either - awarded to the best runners-up. Victory for Sweden would take it effectively down to a final-day showdown with England, although Sweden arguably face the tougher test on matchday three with a game against Slovakia.
7.37pmSweden are the current holders of this trophy, though, so they can by no means be dismissed in the argument. Their success in 2015 was their first ever as they beat Portugal in the final. Indeed, not only was it the first time they had won the tournament, but it was also their first appearance at the European Championships at all since 2009, so their route to the trophy came as something of a surprise. They were a little fortunate to get out of the groups on that occasion, though, so they will be wary of that this time around.
7.39pmSweden were impressive during qualifying, beating Spain to top spot in their group and going through the campaign as one of only six unbeaten teams. It was a difficult group with Croatia, Georgia, Estonia and San Marino in there alongside Spain, who are one of the favourites to succeed Sweden as champions despite needing a playoff to reach Poland. Sweden have only won one of their last four outings, though, having gone 14 games without defeat stretching back even further than that 2015 triumph in this competition. Sweden have now lost as many games in their last four outings as they had in their previous 29.
7.41pmPREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff in Lublin, which means that it is time for a prediction! This comes under the 'must-win' category for both of these teams, and hopefully the style of play will reflect that. Poland do, of course, have the home advantage, but that didn't help them against Slovakia and Sweden could have enough about them to pull off a win tonight. I'm going for 3-2 to the visitors.
7.43pmRight, the players are out and we're just about ready to go here. These two sides have met on 10 previous occasions and the record is pretty even, with Poland just about shading it having won four and lost just three. It is anyone's guess tonight, though!
1 minKICKOFF: Here we go, then! Sweden get us underway at the Lublin Arena!
1 minPoland scored a first-minute goal in their opening game and they almost do it again here, but Cajtoft comes out to claim a dangerous cross.
3 minThe hosts are looking to make a quick start to this match, getting the ball forward as early as possible whenever they have it. They know that urgency is required tonight.
6 minGOAL! Poland U21s 1-0 Sweden U21s (Lukasz Moneta)
6 minPoland have taken an early lead again, and it is the two new faces in the side who combine to get it! Kownacki skips past Dagerstal down the right flank before cutting inside and pulling the ball back for Moneta, who fires a first-time finish into the bottom corner with aplomb. That could be a huge goal for the hosts!
8 minThose quick Polish attacks have been a feature of the opening exchanges here, and Sweden were caught out by it there. The holders have not really got going yet.
9 minCHANCE! Big chance for Poland to make it two goals in quick succession! It is more poor defending from Sweden once again as they fail to cut out a through-ball for Stepinski, who suddenly finds himself in the box and with only the keeper to beat. Cajtoft stands up to it well, though, and makes a big save.
11 minSweden need a response here. They have been very slow off the mark and seem to have been taken a bit by surprise by Poland so far tonight.
12 minPENALTY SHOUT! Sweden want a penalty as Jaroszynski nudges into the back of Tibbling, who goes down under the challenge inside the area. It was certainly worth asking the question, but the referee says no.
14 minPoland look dangerous coming forward once again, but a cross from the left flank is just too high for Kownacki. It is the hosts who have looked by far the better team going forward so far.
16 minPoland have enjoyed 53% of the possession in the opening quarter of an hour or so, but their best moments have come after drawing Sweden out and hitting them on the counter-attack.
18 minSweden have just begun to settle a bit better in this match and are now seeing more of the ball inside the Poland half as they look to fight their way back into this match. Defeat would leave them bottom of the group.
19 minYELLOW CARD! Poland again hit Sweden on the break and Olsson is forced to trip Linetty cynically and receive the first card of the night.
21 minUne-Larsson is not the tallest centre-back there is, but he gets up really well to meet a corner here. He can't get a clean connection on his header, though, and it loops into the arms of Wrabel.
23 minGood play from Tibbling as he dribbles his way the left flank before being forced back and Sweden have to start again.
24 minYELLOW CARD! Sweden keep the ball well and then up the tempo with a couple of quick passes that sends Strandberg through on goal. The Sweden striker gets to the ball before a defender and goalkeeper before going down under challenges from the pair of them, but instead of getting a penalty he is instead shown a yellow card for diving.
26 minCHANCE! Another chance for Poland as Stepinski wins the ball in the area from a cross and nods it down into a dangerous area. Frankowski is the closest to it, but he can't quite hook it goalwards and only succeeds in putting the ball into the side-netting.
28 minCHANCE! Strandberg almost benefited from a defensive mix-up, but he fails to make the most of it as his low strike goes straight at the keeper.
29 minSloppy from Sweden this time, but Kownacki fires his subsequent effort well over. Moments later Stepinski also gets a shooting chance from outside the area, but his effort also ends up in the stands.
30 minYELLOW CARD! Sweden have a second player booked for a dive inside the penalty area! A one-two releases Cibicki inside the area, but he is just eased off the ball and goes down asking for a penalty. It wasn't a dive as such because there was definite contact, but the referee produces the card nonetheless.
31 minPoland come forward menacingly again and Stepinski is very interested in a fine cross from the left flank, but he can't quite get onto the end of it.
33 minSHOT! This would have been some goal! Olsson flicks the ball up and into the path of Cibicki, but his first-time volley from the edge of the box ends up comfortably wide of the target.
35 minScrappy period of the game in which neither side have been able to really keep hold of the ball for any real length of time. Sweden are seeing more of the possession at the moment, but Poland look dangerous on the break too.
36 minGOAL! Poland U21s 1-1 Sweden U21s (Carlos Strandberg)
36 minSweden have the equaliser nine minutes before half time! It is more good football from the visitors which sets up the initial chance for Fransson, but his strike is well saved by Wrabel. The Poland keeper is unable to get enough on the save to push it away from danger, though, and Strandberg is lurking to turn the rebound home from close range.
38 minThis has been a good, open match so far - as expected given the need for both sides to win. It is still anyone's game as we approach the closing stages of the first half!
40 minCHANCE! Chance for Sweden to complete the turnaround as Hallberg loses his marker from a corner and rises unchallenged in the middle of the area. He completely mistimes his header, though, and ends up getting nothing on it as the chance goes begging.
41 minGOAL! Poland U21s 1-2 Sweden U21s (Jacob Une-Larsson)
41 minThis time Poland are punished for some lax marking from a corner! It is Une-Larsson who attacks the ball really well, but again the defending leaves a lot to be desired. Une-Larsson climbs unchallenged in the middle and glances his header into the bottom corner - far too easy for the Swedes!
43 minThis will feel all too familiar for Poland. They have once again squandered an early lead to trail here and now they need to launch a comeback of their own if they are keep their semi-final hopes alive.
45 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
8.42pmThe first half comes to an end in Lublin, then, and it is Sweden who have come from behind to lead the hosts. Poland now have 45 minutes to sae their Euro 2017 campaign, and they have shown enough signs that they are still very much in this game. It has been an absorbing contest so far and it could still go either way despite Sweden's lead.
8.44pmThe opening goal arrived after just six minutes as Poland once again took an early lead in their game - only to then squander it as they did in their opening game. It came from a quick counter-attack, with Kownacki breaking forward down the right flank before cutting a low ball back inside for Moneta, who buried a first-time finish into the bottom corner with aplomb.
8.46pmThat lead lasted half an hour before Sweden levelled things up through Strandberg, who came up with a poacher's finish to restore parity. Fransson had the initial effort which was well saved by Wrabel, but the Poland keeper could not push the ball to safety and Strandberg was in the right place at the right time to nod the ball home from close range. The keeper could have perhaps done better, but he did well to make the initial stop in the first place.
8.48pmSweden made it two goals in the space of five minutes to turn the game on its head towards the closing stages of the second half, with Une-Larsson putting the visitors ahead. Poland had failed to heed a warning regarding their marking moments earlier, and they allowed Une-Larsson to escape his marker and glance his header past the keeper.
46 minKICKOFF: Poland get us back underway for the second half as their supporters welcome them back onto the field with the national anthem.
46 minYELLOW CARD! The first yellow card of the half is produced within seconds of the restart, and it is a very harsh one for Kownacki as he is penalised for what look like a normal aerial challenge.
48 minPoland started the first half really well, but they have struggled to do the same in this second half so far. They are playing with a lot of energy, but nothing on the attacking front since the interval.
50 minOne more goal could be enough to kill of Poland's hopes in this match, but Sweden will know that Poland have the quality to hit them on the break so they won't take any unnecessary risks in search of that goal.
52 minSweden are seeing plenty of the ball now and they look in control at the moment. They grew into the first half - as they did in their opening match against England - and probably just about deserve their lead at this stage.
53 minSAVE! Poland almost restore parity as Stepinsky finds a yard to shoot from just outside the area and drills a low strike towards goal. It is straight at the keeper, though, and Cajtoft collects it at the second attempt.
55 minThis result would make things very interesting heading into the final matchday, with England and Sweden both set to be on four points and Slovakia on three. Poland, meanwhile, would be out if things stay the same.
56 minCHANCE! Another lightning break from Poland sees them create another chance, but once again Cajtoft is there to deny them. It is Linetty who has the shot this time following a quick counter-attack, but his powerful low strike is saved by the feet of the Sweden keeper.
58 minPOLAND SUB: Poland make their first change of the evening as Stepinsky departs to be replaced by Jaroslaw Niezgoda.
60 minThere is concern over Tibbling here as he limps off the field while play is still ongoing, requiring treatment on the sidelines. He looks in quite a bit of pain following a challenge from Linetty.
62 minSWEDEN SUB: Indeed, Tibbling is unable to continue and he is replaced by former Fulham striker Muamer Tankovic.
64 minFrankowski is the latest to call for a penalty, but once again the referee is having none of it. No card for simulation this time, though.
65 minYELLOW CARD! The card does come out this time as Niezgoda puts in a late challenge.
67 minCLOSE! Almost a stunning strike to give Sweden the two-goal cushion they need. Hallberg hammers a brilliant strike towards goal from all of 30 yards, and it is swerving and dipping everywhere before rippling the top of the net on its way over. That was not far away at all!
69 minSWEDEN SUB: Another change for Sweden sees Gustav Engvall replace Strandberg.
70 minSAVE! Kownacki tries his luck with a looping header having been picked out by an aerial ball into the box, but Cajtoft has stayed on his line and collects it comfortably.
71 minYELLOW CARD! Bednarek is the latest player in the book for a late challenge on Engvall.
73 minTime is beginning to run out for Poland now as we approach the final 15 minutes. Realistically they need two goals in these closing stages as a draw is unlikely to be enough.
74 minPOLAND SUB: Poland make their second change of the night as Patryk Lipski replaces the goalscorer Moneta.
75 minLipski's first action is to put a fine delivery into the box from a free kick, but no white shirts can get a touch and the keeper is able to collect it.
77 minSAVE! Good play from Engvall as he collects a pass into his feet and conjures up a bit of space to shoot. His effort is not a bad one either, but Wrabel is able to pluck it out of the air.
79 minWe're almost in the final 10 minutes now and, while Poland look on course for an exit with a game still to spare, their fans have not stopped singing tonight. There has been great support at this tournament so far.
82 minCHANCES! Poland are not giving up hope here! Cajtoft is called into two saves in quick succession, first to deny a fine header from Kownacki before then palming away a ferocious drive from Linetty after the resulting corner had been played short. The second corner is also played short, but this time Niezgoda is unable to turn it on target. Three big moments in the space of a minute there!
84 minThat could well have been Poland's chance to give themselves a lifeline. The hosts are piling some late pressure on, but it could be too late. They realistically need two goals to stay in the competition, remember.
86 minCHANCE! Chance for Sweden at the other end as Engvall finds himself with lots of green grass to run into, but he is forced out wide and when he then leaves the ball for Cibicki, he fires the ball well off target.
86 minYELLOW CARD! Linetty is the THIRD player to be booked for simulation tonight, all in the same penalty area too.
87 minSWEDEN SUB: Sweden make their third and final change of the night as Kerim Mrabti replaces Fransson.
88 minPOLAND SUB: Poland also make a change which sees Krzysztof Piatek replace Dawidowicz.
89 minYELLOW CARD! Hallberg is the latest player in the book this evening.
90+1 minGOAL! Poland U21s 2-2 Sweden U21s (Dawid Kownacki)
90+1 minLate drama in Lublin as Poland keep their slim hopes of a semi-final berth alive! This time the referee does point to the spot after Dagerstal dragged his man down inside the area, and Kownacki steps up to convert the penalty so cooly. Huge blow for Sweden, while Poland are still in with a shout on home soil!
90+3 minCLOSE! Poland go in search of a winner and they have plenty of bodies forward in the third of four minutes added time. The ball gets poked out to Piatek, but he goes for goal himself from a tight angle and ripples the side-netting with his shot.
9.53pmWow, what drama at the end of that match! Poland were just a couple of minutes away from crashing out of their own tournament with a game of the group stages still remaining, but a 91st-minute penalty sees them live to fight another day. Their chances are still slim - they need to beat England, hope the other result goes their way and improve their goal difference, but at least there is still a chance. We could, in fact, end up with a three-way tie for top spot on four points apiece.
9.55pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as host nation Poland keep their semi-final hopes on life support with a late equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw with Sweden. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for more coverage of the tournament over the coming days. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!