A team that likes to keep possession and control the game vs a quick, counterattacking side with one of the best strikers in the world – a match made for goals, right? Not quite. Germany and Poland disappointed in a Euro 2016 Group C game that promised so much, with both the forwadlines flopping spectacularly in a rather dull and forgettable 0-0 draw in Saint-Denis.
This was a match, on paper, made for a stage like the Stade de France, but it disappointed throughout, with neither side able to carve enough chances often enough, to threaten that 0-0- scoreline, even if Arkadiusz Milik will go down in the blooper reel for easiest chances missed in Euro 2016.
Germany started the game brightly enough, with Mesut Ozil seeing plenty of the ball, while Julian Draxler looked like he could create a few chances down the left. Mario Gotze also looked like he was keen to excel in that centre-forward position, even winning a header, which went high, off a Draxler cross.
However, that early promise faded quickly as Poland defended really well, staying compact and giving Germany absolutely no space through the middle. With very little width in play – Draxler saw lesser and lesser of the ball as the game wore on and with Thomas Muller constantly drifting in from the right, the width had to be provided by the fullbacks. Jonas Hector tried to do that from the left, but his crosses very rarely troubled the Poland defence.
At the other end, Robert Lewandowski, up against several of his Bayern Munich teammates, tried his best to unlock the German defence, with Milik working hard as well. Poland's creative force, though, was Kamil Grosicki, with most of the opportunities that did come Poland's way, coming via a cross or a pass from the wide man.
Despite all the attacking talent at both teams' disposal, the score remained 0-0 at halftime, with neither side hitting a single shot on target.
There first shot on target, however, should have come right after halftime, when a Grosicki cross from the right found Milik in space and with a tap-in needed to open the scoring. However, Milik's decision to stoop low for a header worked against him as he got his timing all wrong with the striker somehow managing to head his shot wide from four yards out, when it really would have been easier to score.
Gotze nearly did soon after at the other end, but his shot from inside the penalty area off a zipped pass from Toni Kroos was hit straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
The chances slowly started to come in the second half, with Ozil forcing a smart save from Fabianski from a left-footed effort, while Milik mishit his shot again, when in space inside the box, off another cross from Grosicki, with a freekick also going just wide.
As the defences started to tire, the game threatened to open up a little bit, but that quality in front of goal was lacking and 0-0 it ended, leaving both teams with four points from two matches and a step closer to last 16 qualification.