Germany and Poland play out goalless draw

The result means both sides, who won their opening games, need a point in their final Group C matches against Ukraine and Northern Ireland respectively on Tuesday to guarantee reaching the last 16.

Germany's Andre Schurrle (R) in action against Poland's Kamil Glik.   -  REUTERS

Poland held Germany to the first 0-0 draw of Euro 2016 on Thursday as the world champion struggled to break down a dogged opponent which will be satisfied with a point.

The result means both sides, who won their opening games, need a point in their final Group C matches against Ukraine and Northern Ireland respectively on Tuesday to guarantee reaching the last 16.

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Ukraine, which has yet to get a point, cannot progress and will finish bottom of the section.

Germany was playing its first game at the Stade de France since the deadly November attacks in Paris. It came out zipping the ball around early on, poking and prodding at the Poles but, with focal point Mario Götze consistently dropping off, it lacked conviction in the final third.

The two neighbours, who last met at a European Championship in a feisty game in 2008, failed to conjure a shot on target in the first half in front of a packed and boisterous crowd.

The only notable chances fell to Götze, who drifted a header over the bar in the fourth minute, and Toni Kroos, with a toe-poke in the 15th minute that went wide.

The Germans, eyeing a fourth European title, were clearly frustrated. Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil were booked needlessly after fouls in the midfield in the first half before Jerome Boateng joined them in the referee's notebook after 67 minutes.

The second period had to have a faster tempo and it proved to be the case. The Poles came out firing on all cylinders and almost took the lead just after the break. Kamil Grosicki's cross found Arkadiusz Milik, who appeared to only have to guide the ball into the net, but he barely connected and it went agonisingly wide in front of the passionate Polish supporters.

Seconds later Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski held on to a Götze shot in the box, the first on target in the game.

Poland began to take the ascendancy and had the better chances with Milik shooting wide after striker Robert Lewandowski had tapped a free-kick to him after 57 minutes.

The Bayern Munich forward then saw his club colleague Boateng block a shot destined for the goal.

With the game finally opening up, Ozil's shot was tipped over the bar spectacularly by Fabianski in the 68th. The midfielder then turned provider, putting in substitute Andre Schürrle who shot straight at Fabianski.

But, despite a string of half chances in the final 20 minutes, neither side looked like finding the breakthrough.

Key Opta Facts:

- Sami Khedira picked up the earliest yellow card so far at Euro 2016 in just the third minute.
- Germany failed to direct a single shot on target in the first half of a European Championship finals game for the first time since 1988 versus Italy.
- Germany failed to score for first time in last 15 games in major finals (since losing 1-0 to Spain in 2010 World Cup).
- Poland failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a major finals game.