Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Euro 2012 Day 5 Review

Today saw the opening matches of the second round of games in this year's tournament.

The opening game was contested between Greece and the Czech Republic, the Greeks drew against co-hosts Poland on day one whilst the Czechs were thumped 4-1 by Russia. The game started in dramatic style as the Czechs scored two goals in the opening six minutes, first Petr Jiracek netted after three minutes before Valclav Pilar doubled their lead in the sixth.

The Greeks were all over the place and were extremely fortunate not to be more goals behind after the first twenty minutes, they battled back towards the remainder of the half as the Czechs took their foot off the gas and even had a goal disallowed.

The start of the second half brought some success for Greece as a rare Petr Cech mistake, saw Fanis Gekas bring the Greeks back into the game in the 53rd minute. Greece tried break through the Czech's defence for the remainder of the game but found the task too much against a determined side. The Czech Republic seemed happy to sit back and were confident of keeping the Greeks out.

I can see the Czech Republic just doing enough in their final game, to qualify for the quarter finals. Although Greece are mathematically still in the competition, they need to beat Russia to qualify and with a strike force that deosn't looking like scoring goals and a defence that looks likely to concede at any given moment, I don't know how they can win.    

The second game of the evening was between co-hosts Poland and top of the group Russia. Poland drew their opening game against Greece despite being a goal and a man up at one point, Russia are massive favorites for this match, helped by the their stunning first day win against the Czech Republic.

Poland started the match really brightly as they surprisingly had Russia on the back foot early on, this was the game that would clearly mean most for the Polish and they started at a very high tempo. Despite their excellent start and having a goal rightfully disallowed, it was Russia who struck first when Alan Dzagoev scored his third goal of the tournament in the 37th minute.

There was a fear that Poland would lose their belief after the goal but they proved that theory wrong in the second half, skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski scored the goal of the competition so far to almost blow the roof of the place. The Poland fans were absolutely fantastic and it was clear what the goal meant to them, the game could have gone either way after that but Poland more than deserved the point.

Russia will see off Greece in the final game and top the group, as for the hosts, I still think the Czech's will edge through but as a neutral it would be brilliant to see Poland go through, they really impressed me tonight.

Jakub Blaszczykowski

No comments:

Post a Comment