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Poland coach Nawalka hails historic qualification

FOOTBALL By AFP | June 21st 2016
Ukraine's midfielder Ruslan Rotan (L) vies for the ball with Poland's midfielder Bartosz Kapustka during the Euro 2016 group C football match between Ukraine and Poland at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille on June 21, 2016. / AFP PHOTO

Poland coach Adam Nawalka hailed his side's dogged work to qualify for the last-16 at Euro 2016 after their 1-0 win against Ukraine on Tuesday.

"For the first time in Polish history we have qualified from the Euros group stage, the first time in three attempts," he said.

With two 1-0 wins in Group C against Northern Ireland and Ukraine either side of a scoreless draw against Germany, Poland finished in second place in the group on goal difference.

"It was fairly impressive that we got seven points from three matches in a difficult group, we didn't concede a goal, maybe we could have scored more".

"But as the table shows only the goal difference is against our favour it was a difficult match today it was maybe even more difficult than against Germany."

With pride at stake for Mykhailo Fomenko's men, Ukraine battled bravely but rarely threatened to score.

"You should never disrespect Ukraine, they have some very good players in their team, we had to defend well we didn't have as much possession as we wished."

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