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23 Jun, 2021 18:27

Exit Poles: Lewandowski tears as Poland endure agonizing Euro 2020 exit to Sweden, Spain smash Slovakia, Ukraine advance (VIDEO)

Exit Poles: Lewandowski tears as Poland endure agonizing Euro 2020 exit to Sweden, Spain smash Slovakia, Ukraine advance (VIDEO)

Robert Lewandowski scored twice but Poland could not complete a comeback and conceded a late winner as they tumbled out of Euro 2020 against Sweden, while Spain thumped Slovakia to go through and Ukraine qualified without playing.

Bayern hotshot Lewandowski was in tears at the end after dragging his nation back into a must-win match for their qualification hopes, curling in a stunner from outside the penalty area and poaching a close-range second to make it 2-2 before Viktor Claessen netted a late winner for the group winners.

Sweden stunned Poland by going ahead after 82 seconds, Emil Forsberg slotting in and adding a second just before the hour mark.

Lewandowski's inspired intervention gave Poland around ten minutes to net the third that would have taken them through, only for Sweden to show their attacking prowess again, Claessen completing a neat move in added time to seal a dramatic victory.

"The fact this is my best EURO because I scored three goals does not comfort me at all," admitted Lewandowski, who became Poland's alltime top scorer at the finals with his brace.

"I would give all these goals for qualification for the next round. I feel this team deserved more – maybe not applause, because we are out, but for all that we gave here, the reward is too small."

In one incredible first-half sequence, the Ballon d'Or contender headed against the crossbar twice within seconds from a corner. Among Poland's other misfortunes across their unsuccessful campaign, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny unwittingly scored an own-goal in their opening 2-1 defeat to Slovakia when the ball crept into the net off his back after hitting a post.

"We have been unlucky at this tournament," rued Lewandowski. "We had many chances to score but did not convert enough of them.

"Our rivals sometimes had half a chance and they scored. Me too — those two headers hit the crossbar.

"We are sad and disappointed. Maybe we were lacking quality somehow, but we gave all we had."

Elsewhere in Group E, Spain saved the best for last by recording their first win at the finals with a 5-0 stroll against Slovakia.

The mauling included a comical own-goal by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the opening stages as Spain finished second in the standings.

Slovakia's slump and the ensuing permutations meant that Ukraine will go through to the round of 16 as one of the third-placed teams finishing on the most points.

Also on rt.com ‘An absolute howler’: Dubravka scores ‘worst own goal ever’ in bizarre start to Spain-Slovakia Euro 2020 clash (VIDEO)
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