EURO 2016: Ukraine-Northern Ireland
After losing their opening matches, both Ukraine and Northern Ireland need to get their campaign back on track quickly in the Group C. Ukraine were defeated by Germany in the first round but they still gave a much better and vibrant performance in the game than the Northern Irish did in their opener against Poland. As both head-to-head statistics and amount of experience are also on UkraineÃ‚Â´s side, the Eastern European team are expected to prevail in what is likely to be the key fixture for both. Starting at 6 PM (CET), the Group C clash between Ukraine and Northern Ireland will be played at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon.
Ukraine had to go to qualifying play-offs to earn their spot at EURO 2016 so they only managed to play four warm-up duels prior to the tournament but they did really good in those matches and they wanted to prove their quality at the tournament too. Unfortunately, they were drawn in a group that also features the current world champions Germany who were UkraineÃ‚Â´s first opponents at the championship. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians gave a solid performance in the game although they were eventually defeated by the Germans. For the first time in years, Ukraine are without their iconic striker Schevchenko who retired from professional football prior to the tournament but the team have other great players such as Konopljanka and Jarmolenko who can get the side in the knock out stage. In their next game, Ukraine will face off Northern Ireland who they should outplay if they pull together.
Until their very first EURO match, Northern Ireland were boasting an impressive 12-game unbeaten run. However, this remarkable series is over after the British lost to Poland in their opener. Lacking any world-class footballers, Northern Ireland were expected to base their game at the European championship on team performance and well-organized defence. OÃ‚Â´NeillÃ‚Â´s men did apply this strategy in the match against Poland but as they were harmless in the offence, they were doomed to lose to game. Poland scored their winner at the beginning of the second half and they had no troubles defending the lead until the end of the match. In fact, Northern Ireland failed to register any shot on target in the fixture, posing no threat to the confident Poles. In their next duel, the Green and White Army will take on Ukraine who are comparable to their previous opponent in terms of quality and style. If the Northern Irish do not change their approach, they are very likely to end up beaten again.
As Northern Ireland are debutants at EURO 2016, little achievements were expected from them but the shy performance they delivered in their opener against Poland was viewed as disappointment even by this teamÃ‚Â´s standards. On Thursday, the Green and White Army will have a great opportunity to atone for this failure as they play Ukraine in their next group match. Did Northern Ireland learn their lesson from their unsuccessful debut and will they put in a better showing in their next match? Or will Ukraine meet the expectations and clinch a win in the duel? We will know by Thursday night.
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Great game Nothern Ireland! This results is also pretty good for Poland. After draw with Germany they have great chances to advance from group
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