Euro Watch: Millwall's Ferguson starts with a defeat

SHANE Ferguson started and played 66 minutes in Northern Ireland's opening game of Euro 2016 that ended in defeat to Poland in Nice on Sunday.

The Lions midfielder started the Group C tie on the left of midfield for Michael O'Neill's men but found himself in a more defensive role with Poland being the more dominant team for the majority of the match.

The 24-year-old ventured forward on occasion when Northern Ireland had a rare chance to put pressure on the Polish defence.

Arkadiusz Milik's low powerful effort from the edge of the box gave Poland a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute, and they would hold on for the three points.

Ferguson is the first outfield Millwall player to play at a major tournament since Steven Reid did for the Republic of Ireland in the 2002 World Cup.

And he lasted 66 minutes before being replaced by QPR's Conor Washington and he will be hoping to retain his starting place when Northern Ireland play Ukraine on Thursday in Lyon.

Image Source: ©Northern Ireland FA