June 9, 2012 by joshilan14
Poland 1-1 Greece
Lewandowski (15): Salpingidis (51)
Poland: Szczesny; Piszeck, Perquis, Wasilewski, Boenisch; Murawki, Polanski; Rybus (Tyton), Obraniak, Blaszcykowski; Lewandowski
Greece: Chalkias; Torosidis, A Papadopolous (K Papadopoulos), Papastophopoulos, Holebas; Maniatis, Katsouranis, Karagounis; Ninis (Salpingidis), Gekas (Fortounis), Samaras
Referee: Roberto Martinez (Dave Whelan said he’d let him leave for a better job.)
Poland went into the first game full of hope and expectation, but they ended up being disappointed by an inspired Greece. The opening ceremony was nothing short of awful, but fortunately the match was not full of dancers falling over (apart from the Greek defence.)
Poland started the first-half brightly, with Greece goalkeeper Konstantinis Chalkias having to be at his best to deny Rafal Murawski’s long range drive. Blaszcykowksi then produced an awful cross when Lewandowski was on hand to score. This was all forgotten when a cross into the box was not dealt with by Chalkias or the Greek defence, which saw Lewandowski give the hosts the lead. The game then remained at a steady pace but the Greek defence was all over the place. Avraam Papadopoulos came off due to injury shortly, with namesake Kyriakos replacing him. Damien Perquis then skewed the ball wide from close range, when he probably should have scored. Then came two moments of controversy: Papastathopoulos was sent-off with two minutes to go for obstruction, but his two yellows on-the-whole did not deserve a red; while Perquis handled the ball in the box, albeit unintentionally. This saw Greece right-back Jose Holebas booked for dissent.
Fernando Santos’ half-time team-talk and tactics worked a treat, with substitute Dimitris Salpingidis prodding home from close range after dodgy Poland defending. Giorgos Karagounis received a yellow card shortly after for an intentional handball. Maciej Rybus then had a diving header that went over the bar in the 65th minute. Minutes later, Wojciech Szczesny tripped up Dimitris Salpingidis when he was through on goal to get a straight red: this was a big blow for Poland and for my fantasy football team. Rybus then came off, with Premyslaw Tyton coming on as the replacement goalkeeper. His first touch was to dive to his bottom left corner to claw away Girogos Karagounis’ penalty. Salpingidis then had a goal rightly ruled out for offside in the 73rd minute. Poland had chances to win the game through Eugen Polanski, Lewandowski and an outrageous Kostas Katsouranis clearance; but the game ended as a 1-1 draw.
The result comes as a big blow to Poland’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, while Fernando Santos will be delighted by his side’s spirited comeback. Franciczsek Smuda has Premyslaw Tyton to thank for getting Poland a point, but he and his nation will feel underwhelmed at the overall result.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Dimitris Salpingidis
BEST MOMENT: Giorgios Samaras’ amazing piece of skill in the first-half to get away from four Polish defenders. Even he was surprised at it.
MATCH RATING: 8/10
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