Lewandowski fires blanks again but Poland through
(Jakub Blaszczykowski 54)
The enigma of Robert Lewandowski's Euro 2016 barren run continues.
At the Stade Velodrome in Marseille this morning (Singapore time), Poland accomplished their mission, claiming a spot in the Round of 16 after beating Ukraine 1-0.
However, the man they were counting on to provide the cutting edge misfired once more in front of goal, for the third time in a row at this tournament.
Instead, it was Jakub Blaszczykowski who stole the thunder, blasting in a 54th-minute winner to help his side clinch the runners-up spot in Group C.
But, to go far in the tournament, the Poles know they need Lewandowski to fire on all cylinders.
The striker who thumped in 13 goals in their qualifying campaign and 30 league goals for Bayern Munich last season has looked mysteriously out of sorts.
He hasn't scored in the Euro Finals since the first game of Euro 2012.
When presented with a gilt-edged chance to open his account in France in the fourth minute against the Ukrainians, he skied his shot from point-blank range.
It was the closest he got to scoring this morning.
In fact, Poland were fortunate to escape with full points.
For much of the game, Ukraine, already condemned to last place in Group C before this match, were the slightly better side and should have scored either side of half-time.
Andriy Yarmolenko couldn't take advantage of a clear shooting chance in the 17th minute, sending his effort horribly wide when it appeared easier to hit the target.
Another excellent opportunity fell to an unmarked Olexandr Zinchenko after half-time, but he could only head wide from just outside the six-yard box.
Poland nearly went 2-0 up though, but Arkadiusz Milik's header from close range lacked conviction.
In a match pockmarked with poor misses, substitute Blaszczykowski's strike proved enough to seal second spot behind Germany.
But they will need Lewandowski to find his mojo if they want to go far in the tournament.