Friday, 8 June 2012

Euro 2012 Day 1 Review

So today Euro 2012 got under way.

The first game featured co-hosts Poland, taking on 2004 winners Greece. This game was better than expected with Poland dominating the opening half which lead to them taking a deserved lead after 17 minutes, thanks to Robert Lewandoowski's goal. Greece's half went from bad to worse as Sokratis Papastathpoulos was harshly dismissed for second bookable offence.

The second half was a different story as Greece began positively and were rewarded with a goal from substitute Dimitris Salpingidis after 51 minutes, following a mistake from Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny. Greece piled on more pressure and gained a penalty after Salpingidis was brought down by Szczesny who was immediately red carded. This brought on sub keeper Przemyslaw Tyton, who's first action was to save the resulting penalty from Giorgos Karagounis. There were half chances for both sides in the last few minutes, however a draw was probably a fair result on the balance of play. I think both sides will take this result.

The second game was between Russia and the Czech Republic. The Czechs started the brightest but they were hit on the counter attack by Alan Dzagoev. This was followed nine minutes later, by a goal from Roman Shirokov, this seemed to leave the Czechs shell shocked as the limped towards the half time interval.

Like the first half, the Czechs started the second the brightest with Vaclav Pilar pulling one back on 52 minutes. For a long period of time there seemed to a bit of cat and mouse about the game with both teams knowing that the next goal would be crucial. It would be Russia though who would get it through Dezagoev's second of the evening. The best goal was saved till last though, with former Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko holding off two defenders before smashing the ball into the back of the net. Russia seem to be too strong for the others teams in the group and I think the Czechs will have to bounce back quickly in order to progress.

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