Leeds United's Mateusz Klich unlocks Slovakia defence in losing cause for Poland at Euros
Mateusz Klich helped unlock Slovakia's defence in a losing cause for 10-man Poland at the Euros.
Paulo Sousa's men were handed a disappointing 2-1 defeat in their opening Group E outing in Saint Petersburg.
Klich was selected to start the affair with Poland opting for a 3-3-1-3 of sorts in possession whilst moving into a 4-1-4-1 without the ball.
Leeds United's playmaker was again deployed in the engine room behind Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and the onus was on Klich to find the creativity required.
The 31-year-old had a fairly quiet first period by his own standards as Slovakia took the lead thanks to an inadvertent own goal from Wojciech Szczesny.
Poland's stopper became the first man between the sticks to record an effort in his own net in European Championships history.
After the break, though, Sousa's men came alive within seconds of the restart.
Klich reverted to type as he opened up the opposition defence in the build up to the levelling strike.
The Whites man gathered the ball on the edge of the box and turned in one swift movement to find teammate Maciej Rybus with a clever ball who in turn found Karol Linetty in the six-yard box to score.
Poland looked the more likely to grab the lead and a second goal as Klich made a number of darting runs into the opposition half.
Disaster struck to derail their efforts with Grzegorz Krychowiak handed his marching orders for a second bookable offence just after the hour mark.
Slovakia then retook the lead less than 10 minutes later as Milan Skriniar emphatically volleyed home at the second phase of a corner.
Klich was replaced five minutes from time and ended the afternoon as one of Poland's better players on the night despite defeat - completing 50 passes and attempted five crosses.
He also ended the evening with one key pass - which lead to his nation's goal - one blocked shot and 65 touches in total.
Poland now face Spain on Saturday evening and before taking on Sweden next Wednesday.