Poland vs Greece Euro 2012 Live Blog

Greece vs Poland

Euro 2012

Group A

5pm BST

The opening game of Euro 2012 has bore draw written all over it. Greece managed to pass between defenders and score free kicks for an entire tournament and win in 2004, and are probably a worse team now.

Poland at least have Lewandowski, who might score a goal, but don’t expect much. Neither team concedes much, nor do they create.

They’re lining up now in the tunnel, about to get Euro 2012 underway.

About six minutes to go before kick off, they’re coming out of the tunnel now, crowd is pretty lively. As it should be really with one of the co-hosts about to play.

Teams:

Poland1-Wojciech Szczesny; 20-Lukasz Piszczek, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 15-Damien Perquis, 2-Sebastian Boenisch; 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski, 7-Eugen Polanski, 11-Rafal Murawski, 8-Maciej Rybus; 10-Ludovic Obraniak; 9-Robert Lewandowski

Greece: 1-Kostas Chalkias; 15-Vasilis Torosidis, 8-Avraam Papadopoulos, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 20-Jose Holebas; 2-Giannis Maniatis, 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 10-Giorgos Karagounis; 18-Sotiris Ninis, 17-Fanis Gekas, 7-Giorgos Samaras

Players to watch:

Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny is a genuine talent, and was outstanding for his club all year. Lewandowski is a genuine goal threat and rumoured to be moving to Manchester United this Summer. He’ll be looking to show his skills.

For Greece Samaras is a failed Celtic striker with a bad haircut. Karagounis is a solid midfielder who scored the first goal for Greece in 2004. It’s not a glamourous squad.

1 min.

We’re off. Greece kick off and immediately pass it around in defense. The Polish fans start whistling. They don’t seem impressed.

3 min.

Karagounis fires in a free kick to the Polish penalty area. Few headers between players and Gekas gives away a free to Poland.

4 min.

Lewandowski fires a shot straight at the goalkeeper after some fine build up play, rebound goes out to Murawski, fired back in and saved by Chalkias but it goes out for a corner. Which results in nothing.

5 min.

Greece have a half chance, but it goes nowhere.

10 min

Nothing but midfield battles up till now. Greece have a free kick, Karagounis takes. Fired into Gekas in the box who puts hos header wide to the left. Decent chance for Greece. They do score from free kicks so it’s a good sign for them.

11 min

Poland break down the right through Piszczek, but the chance created is fired over the bar by Wasilewski.

14 min

Poland again break down the right, they’re really exploiting Greece there. Piszczek fires it across goal but Lewandowski hesitates and can’t connect. The loose ball is collected by Murawski after a poor clearance, but Greece win it back and clear.

17 min GOAL! Poland 1-0.

Obraniak disposses a Greek player in midfield then breaks, again, down the right and passes to Piszczek. He crosses in to Lewandowski who pushes his header into the ground, it bounces under Chalkias, the goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner.

20 mins

After a Greek player picks up an injury the pace slows down, Poland still in control and looking to attack.

23 mins

Katsouranis takmes a shot from long range but it lacks pace and goes wide to the left without troubling Szczesny.

25 mins.

Corner to Poland after Lewnadowski tries a silly dive instead of claiming the ball from a big clearing boot upfield.

26 mins.

Obraniak takes the corner, punched away by Chalkias. Free kick to Poland after Greece fail to clear it up the pitch.

27 mins.

Papadopolous heads the free kick away and Greece regain possession.

28 mins.

Ninis steals the ball from a pair of Polish defenders and wins a free kick just on the edge of the Polish penalty area. He’ll take it himself. He takes it short but the referee blows. Re-take.

29 mins.

Poor cross is cleared by Poland who counter attack through Piszczek, but his final cross-field ball is lacking and Greece resume passing around midfield.

31 mins.

Samaras attempts a dribble, spins around, passes back and a poor cross gives the ball back to Poland.

33 mins.

Another Greek free, Karagounis shapes up to take it. It comes in low and hits the wall, ending up all the way back with the Greek defense who hoof the ball up for Szczesny to collect.

35 mins.

Papastathapolous picks up a yellow card. Poland with a free kick. Papadopoulos is now coming off the be replaced by… Papadopoulos. A younger one.

36 mins.

Free kick comes in and is met by Perquis who fluffs it, sending it wide right of the goal. Great chance but Perquis is a centre back, and clearly not a goal scorer on that evidence.

38 mins.

Greece look in serious trouble here. Poland are in total control and Greece will be happy to have only conceded one. Their best chances have come from long range free kicks while Poland are marauding down the right wing at will.

39 mins.

Ninis fires across goal from a corner, met by Gekas but it’s but behind for another corner. This time Szczesny punches it away and Poland break.¬†Blaszczykowski wins a corner. It’s cleared by the Greek defense.

41 mins.

Greece put a good cross in but Wasilewski slides in to put it out of play. The corner is well defended and Greece give up a throw in to Poland after a short series of passes outside the penalty area.

42 mins.

Perquis gives the ball away to Ninis who moves right and passes low into the box. Easily cleared by Poland.

43 mins.

Lewandowski picks up the ball on the left side of midfield, slips it through to Murawski who goes down very, very easily. Papastathopoulos with the challenge but it looked like Murawski lost his footing.

44 mins. RED CARD

Yellow card, that’s his second! He’s off, Papastathopoulos is off, Greece now without their two first choice central defenders and down to ten men.

45 mins.

Three minutes added time.

46 mins.

Perquis falls on the ball in the penalty area. Holebas protests and receives a yellow card for his trouble. Referee getting a bit trigger happy on the cards here.

48 mins.

After a poor floated Greek free kick toward the box goes out for a goal kick to Poland the first half ends.

Half Time:

Poland are utterly dominant. Greece look very unlikely to score and now have serious problems with keeping Poland, who are playing some surprisingly good football, from scoring again. They’ll need to tighten up on the left side of defense and hope their second choice defenders can stop Lewandowski. It’s not looking good.

45 mins.

Back to the match. Salpingidis is on for Ninis and Poland kick off.

47 mins.

Poland looking strong again, some promising moves down both flanks with the best being down the right. Lewandowski slips after he’s fed the ball on the edge of the box and tries to shoot. it goes high and wide.

50 mins.

GOAL! Greece equalise. A ball crossed in from the right  and rebounds back from Szczesney to substitute Salpingidis who slots it into the left corner.

53 mins.

Karagounis picks up a yellow card for a handball in midfield. A bit pointless really.

MY BETS UPDATE. I had Poland 1-0 and Lewandowski to score first. Doh.

55 mins.

It’s all gone very quiet. The crowd seem subdued by the goal and Poland are struggling to break down the Greek defense. It probably wouldn’t be a mistake to assume Greece are happy to draw, especially with 10 men on the field.

57 mins.

Polish free kick. Obraniak goes for the shot from 25+ yards out. Sends it low and hard, but wide to the right of the goal.

60 mins.

Greece are ‘parking the bus’ as they say. Poland on the attack and with the majority of possession, but unable to break into the Greek penalty area.

Hello to Lorcan who’s following the blog!

62 mins.

Samaras played into the box with a lovely lobeed pass from midfield. He doesn’t go for the volley and the ball runs on too far for a decent shot. He puts it high and wide from a tight angle.

65 mins.

Samaras has taken a more central role and is looking lively.

66 mins.

Poland break down the left, finally, and a good cross in is headed over the bar.

68 mins.

PENALTY AND RED CARD

Another great lobbed pass drops into the Polish penalty area. Szczesny and Salpingidis both go for it and Szczesny trips the Greek man. Szczesny off and his replacement has to try save from Karagounis, the Greek captain.

70 mins.

SAVED!

Karagounis shoots low to the right and substitute goalkeeper Tyton goes the same way for the save. An instant hero to the crowd, who go absolutely wild.

73 mins.

Greece score!

But it’s disallowed, nothing but frustration now for the Greeks, but it’s a fair call. Unlike, perhaps, the red card in the first half. Salpingidis, who’s been fantastic since he came on, was offside when the ball was played to him.

76 mins.

Salpingidis has a crack from outside the box, it goes well over.

78 mins.

Poland break forward and have a penalty claim waved off by the referee after the ball is run out of play. Referee making the right calls this half.

79 mins.

Samaras intercepts a Polish header and takes a shot from outside the penalty area, but balloons it over the bar.

Fortounis, not Salpingidis, was offside for Greece at 73 mins.

82 mins.

Poland have a chance through Polanski after Obraniak breaks down the right. His shot comes from outside the area and lacks the pace needed to challenge Chalkias in the Greek goal.

84 mins.

Lewandowski has a crack after he’s fed in on the right side of goal but can only hit the side netting. Parts of the ground think it went in, disappointment for the Poles. That’s probably their best chance of the half too. Greece are looking pretty solid now.

86 mins.

Greece have another long range free kick to be taken by Karagounis. Whistles from the crowd for the man who missed the penalty. He doesn’t fare much better with the free kick, which drops to the first Polish defender in the box and gets headed away.

87 mins.

Poland look really out of sorts, missing passes and generally just not able to keep up an attacking pace.

88 mins.

Lewandowski receives a pass in the centre of the field and rushes forward, only to be knocked down by a Greek challenge, fairly I’ll add.

90 mins.

Poland are beginning to string some nice passes together, but with only three minutes of added time it could be too little too late.

Blaszczykowski manages to cross in a dangerous looking ball, but it’s put out for a corner.

91 mins.

Obraniak will take the corner. It goes high and Chalkias swings at it. Some dispute over whether he touched it but a goal kick is the verdict. Chalkias takes his time. Greece happy with the draw.

92 mins.

Poland pass around in midfield. It really is time for route one now, but Greece regain possession.

FINAL WHISTLE.

And that’s it. 1-1, but what a game!

Disappointing for Poland, a great start for them but they seemed to lose something in the second half. The sending off didn’t help them all that much, if at all. Once Greece equalised it was going to be a defensive affair and they had just enough resolve to see it through. Of course, they probably should have won it with the penalty, but 1-1 was a fair result.

Don’t take my word for it though, what does Eamon think?

http://www.eamondunphysoundboard.com/

Enjoy this evening’s match!

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