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By ESPN Staff

Emotional Podolski explains his lack of celebrations

Polish-born forward Lukas Podolski struck twice to give Germany a 2-0 win over Poland on Sunday, ending their 12-year wait for a victory at the European Championship finals.

Podolski tapped the ball into an empty net midway through the first half after Miroslav Klose, another Polish-born striker, burst through to set him up in the Group B game.

Germany continued to threaten and made it 2-0 when Podolski volleyed home from 12 metres in the 72nd minute after the defence failed to clear.

Victory extended Germany's unbeaten record against Poland to 16 games and secured their first win in the tournament since the final of Euro 96.

Podolski was named man of the match but it was of little interest to the two-goal marksman.

'That doesn't mean anything to me,' he told the German television station ZDF. 'It was important we played a good match today.

'We won 2-0. We did what we set out to accomplish.'

Podolski said he chose not to celebrate his goals because of his Polish roots.

'I was born in Poland. I've got a big family. It's a part of my heart,' he said.

Germany coach Joachim Loew lavished praise on Podolski.

'For the past three weeks Lukas has worked very hard,' Loew told reporters. 'He has amazing physical ability and potential.

'Lukas has an excellent shot. When he gets free for a shot it's very tough for a goalkeeper to stop him.

'For us Lukas has always played well,' said Loew. 'But even for Bayern, when he played, he had good performances because otherwise he would not be part of the national team.

'Podolski scored both goals for us today and he has the ability to play both positions,' the coach added referring to the attacking midfield role the two-goal striker adopted against Poland.

'He can come from deep in midfield and play like today.'

Low added: 'As coach you keep asking yourself where your team is right up until kick-off, because during the three weeks building up to the tournament you don't have a possibility to measure yourself.

'We played as a team. We had one main focus, which was to win our opening match - and that's what we did.

'I think the team proved their perseverance, their concentration; during the first half we had a number of very good moves.

Poland, making their first appearance at a European Championship finals, did not disgrace themselves and caused a well-touted Germany plenty of problems.

Poland coach Leo Beenhakker felt his side matched Germany up until Podolski's second goal.

'In the opening 70 minutes, we more or less played at their level - but the last 20 is to forget,' said the Dutchman.

'We are disappointed.

'We started the match well. From the beginning we tried to make it our match, but it is not easy - because we are talking about opponents who have a high level, whose players play at the highest level all over Europe.

'We tried to get the goal. We had some chances - there was a moment in the second half when we totally dominated the game. After the second goal, the game was over.'


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