Czech Republic vs Poland
Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw.
Poland seemed to have most of the early chances; while the Czechs looked a little nervous without Tomas Rosicky.
Czech Republic pressured Poland a little more towards the end of the first-half, but after forty-five minutes the game remained goaless.
Half-time: Czech Republic 0 – Poland 0
in Warsaw (45 mins).
While the Czech Republic and Poland players walked towards their dressing rooms, Greece took the lead against Russia; Giorgos Karagounis firing low and hard under the goalkeeper, Vyacheslav Malafeev.
Half-time: Greece 1 – Russia 0
The late, late goal in Warsaw meant that a draw in Wroclaw would be the end of the road for both the Czech Republic and Poland; if the scores stayed the same in both games.
Czech Republic looked the most likely to score for much of the second-half.
in Wroclaw (72 mins).
Then the much anticipated goal game. Milan Baros, who often looked a lonely figure up front, ran through the middle and released Petr Jiracek to his left. Jiracek cut inside past the defender and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
This meant that Czech Republic would go through and effectively knock Russia out; even though Russia beat them 4:1 in their first game.
Poland needed two goals to go through but an equaliser would have stopped the Czech Republic from advancing and thrown Russia a lifeline.
For twenty minutes, so much rested on one ball.
With the last touch of the game, Michal Kadlec headed off the line to keep Czech Republic in the tournament.
Czech Republic 1 – Poland 0
Greece 1 – Russia 0
1-Petr Cech; 3-Michal Kadlec, 6-Tomas Sivok, 8-David Limbersky, 2-Theodor Gebre Selassie; 13-Jaroslav Plasil, 17-Tomás Hubschman, 14-Vaclav Pilar, 19-Petr Jiracek; 15-Milan Baros, 18-Daniel Kolár.
22-Przemyslaw Tyton; 15-Damien Perquis, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 2-Sebastian Boenisch, 20-Lukasz Piszczek; 5-Dariusz Dudka, 7-Eugen Polanski, 11-Rafal Murawski, 10-Ludovic Obraniak, 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski; 9-Robert Lewandowski.
Greece vs Russia – National Stadium, Warsaw.
13-Michail Sifakis; 5-Kyriakos Papadopoulos, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 3-Giorgios Tzavellas, 5-Vasilis Torosidis; 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 10-Giorgos Karagounis, 2-Giannis Maniatis; 7-Georgios Samaras, 17-Theofanis Gekas, 14-Dimitris Salpingidis.
16-Vyacheslav Malafeev; 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 12-Alexei Berezutsky, 5-Yuri Zhirkov, 2-Alexander Anyukov; 7-Igor Denisov, 22-Denis Glushakov, 6-Roman Shirokov; 10-Andrei Arshavin, 11-Alexander Kerzhakov, 17-Alan Dzagoev.
Poland vs Russia (1:1)
National Stadium, Warsaw.
This is the big one in Group A and tensions were high on the streets of Warsaw before the kick-off.
Poland looked really sharp and full of desire in the opening twenty-five minutes. All that was missing for their efforts was a goal.
Andrei Arshavin’s runs on the left weren’t going unoticed for Russia and Alexander Kerzhakov was again offered a few half-chances.
When the goal came, it was Russia who took the lead.
A perfectly executed free-kick but a little harsh on Poland.
Half-time: Poland 0 – Russia 1
Poland started the second-half with fire and passion; determined to take the game to Russia for the home nation.
Poland 1 – Russia 1
Poland’s captain, Jakub Blaszczykowski, gave the Polish fans what they wanted; cutting inside the area and unleashing a left foot shot into the back of the net, just twelve minutes after the restart.
The tempo seemed to slow down in the final ten minutes. Russia seemed content to top the group on four points but the Polish fans would have liked the win.
In the end, a fair result to a very entertaining game.
Final Score: Poland 1 – Russia 1
22-Przemyslaw Tyton; 15-Damien Perquis, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 2-Sebastian Boenisch, 20-Lukasz Piszczek; 5-Dariusz Dudka, 7-Eugen Polanski, 10-Ludovic Obraniak, 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski; 9-Robert Lewandowski, 11-Rafal Murawski.
16-Vyacheslav Malafeev; 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 12-Alexei Berezutsky, 5-Yuri Zhirkov, 2-Alexander Anyukov; 7-Igor Denisov, 8-Konstantin Zyryanov, 6-Roman Shirokov; 10-Andrei Arshavin, 11-Alexander Kerzhakov, 17-Alan Dzagoev.
Poland vs Greece (1:1)
Four years of wait is finally over as the top footballing nations in Europe compete once again for the right to be crowned UEFA’s European Champions; when Poland opened the tournament against Euro 2008 champions, Greece.
The first opportunity for Poland came in the fifth minute. Murawski’s shot from the edge of the box was not hard for Kostas Chalkias to tip over the bar, but the swift action was enough to excite the home support.
After the goal, the Poles seemed happy to control the game and the Greeks didn’t seem to press them. Then tragedy struck.
Greece were reduced to ten men just before half time when Sokratis Papastathopoulos received his second yellow card. The first one was a soft card, to say the least and the second, for a push, could have so easily been ignored. So very unfortunate.
Half-time: Poland 1 – Greece 0
So Greece started the second-half with ten men but soon levelled the score.
Poland 1 – Greece 1
Only on the pitch for six minutes, Dimitrios Salpingidis was first to the ball after Szczesny committed himself with an attempted forward lunge at a cross and missed the clearance completely; leaving his net wide open.
Wojciech Szczesny will miss the game against Russia after making his second poor decision of the game, in the 68th minute; clipping the feet of Salpingidis, after the Greek goalscorer tried to flick the ball into space with the intention of maybe rounding the keeper.
Poland’s Maciej Rybus had to make way for Przemyslaw Tyton, who stretched out between the Poland goalposts and foiled Katsouranis attempt from the penalty spot.
The Greek captain’s penalty attempt was low, but the PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper had nothing to lose and pushed both hands out towards the ball confidently.
Final Score: Poland 1 – Greece 1
1-Wojciech Szczesny; 15-Damien Perquis, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 2-Sebastian Boenisch, 20-Lukasz Piszczek; 11-Rafal Murawski, 7-Eugen Polanski, 8-Maciej Rybus, 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski; 9-Robert Lewandowski, 10-Ludovic Obraniak.
1-Kostas Chalkias; 8-Avraam Papadopoulos, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 20-Jose Holebas, 15-Vasilis Torosidis; 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 10-Giorgos Karagounis, 2-Giannis Maniatis; 7-Georgios Samaras, 17-Theofanis Gekas, 18-Sotiris Ninis.
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