Men's National Team

Poland’s Żewłakow retires after Greece stalemate

Poland’s Żewłakow retires after Greece stalemate

ATHENS, Greece. Mar 29 (UEFA) – Former Olympiacos FC defender Michał Żewłakow was substituted to a standing ovation on his 102nd and last outing for Poland.

Final time: Greece draw Poland 0-0 on Tuesday night.

Michał Żewłakow’s 102nd and final appearance for UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland ended in a goalless draw with Greece in Piraeus.

Poland’s record appearance-maker and captain for the night was part of the team seeking to atone for Friday’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Lithuania. Greece, meanwhile, made wholesale changes from the side which left it late to defeat Malta in qualifying Group F 24 hours later.

Greece fashioned the first chance after ten minutes when Grzegorz Sandomierski stopped a shot from Konstantinos Mitroglou which was heading for the top corner. Three minutes before the break, the Panionios GSS player was denied by the goalkeeper again, Sandomierski saving this time with his legs with Mitroglou unmarked in front of goal.

Poland were not without opportunities, either. In between times, Robert Lewandowski shot wide of the far post, Konstantinos Chalkias kept out Ludovic Obraniak’s free-kick and, after 32 minutes, Sławomir Peszko was unable to turn in Jakub Błaszczykowski’s inviting left-wing delivery.

The tempo slowed somewhat after the break, though Lewandowski was thwarted by Chalkias within two minutes of the restart following Sandomierski’s long clearance. Chalkias was called into action again a minute from time to save Kamil Grosicki’s effort before the hosts had a chance to claim victory in added time, when Loukas Vyntra, unmarked, skewed the ball over the crossbar following a corner.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came when Żewłakow was replaced by Tomasz Jodłowiec after 63 minutes. The change had special significance not just for Poland, but also for fans of Olympiacos FC as the 35-year-old former MKE Ankaragücü defender was making his international swansong in the stadium he used to call home while playing for the Athens club between 2006 and 2010.

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