The set up was pretty simple.
Germany had only lost once to Poland in 20 tries. Their loss came at a 2-0 defeat in 2014 at the Euros. Germany had also kept 8 clean sheets in 12 recent encounters with the Polish squad. The problem on Poland’s end is that they’ve never scored more than 1 goal at the Euros (that record is still safe...).
Kroos would have 3 shots on goal, though none would get past the Polish keeper. One he just couldn’t quite get a full foot on sending it a bit wide of the post. His two other shots as you can see below were from distance. He was playing more of a defensive mid type, though with the freedom to move forward.
Toni Kroos By The Numbers
- 92% Passing
- 7 Corners (2 successful)
- 2 of 3 Take On’s
- 2 dribbles
One of those dribbles happened in the 24th minute. Kroos was given tons of space to work with. He started his dribble and made it past one defender before he drew the foul going to ground.
Kroos looked pretty weak on the corners, well Germany as a whole didn’t have a great time with set pieces all night. But having an ineffective Kroos taking corners, the rest of the set piece is going to fall apart. Usually this is something that Toni has under control. Just having a bad day at the office (seems to be going around).
Kroos dominated his side of the pitch. If there’s one thing I really love about Kroos is his positioning in the midfield. I mean just look a that bright blob, though he did on occasion move forward. More so as the end of the game approached. With the space Poland was giving up to Kroos he could have easily gotten forward more often, to great effect.
Look at the amount of touches he grabbed, 125. In contrast Gareth Bale only had 45. Kroos passed that mark before the end of the first half. Bale’s problem though was his midfield wasn’t servicing him as they should have, but give credit to England’s defense for that. They were able to shut Bale down for the most part.
The only bad part of his passing game was when he decided to get a bit adventurous. The long passes just weren’t working for him on the night. He's a passing machine, just look at his passes in the attacking third.
They were working that wing like nobody's business. Again it was the longer passes that weren’t on point for Kroos. Though it looks like he backed off on those after a while realizing it was better to go short or medium.
Player Rating: 7.5
Things I learned
- Poland won their opening game against Northern Ireland, putting to an end their run of six games without a victory in the European Championships. It was also the first time they kept a clean sheet in the tournament.
- Joachim Low has 12 games as a manager at the Euro’s, the most in the history of the tournament
- Mesut Özil has delivered eight assists in the World Cup and EURO since 2010 (4 in each competition), more than any other player.
vs Northern Ireland — Paris (6 p.m. CET/12 p.m. ET, ESPN)