The opening match of Euro 2012 finished in an entertaining 1-1 draw. Poland were back by a vocal home crowd and started the match well. They pressed Greece high up the pitch and looked better on the ball. Greece on the other hand looked poor and their defending left a lot to be desired. It didn’t take long for Poland’s early pressure to turn into a goal. Lewandowski scoring a header at the far post after running unmarked into the box.
With that early goal and the fans behind them you would have expected Poland to go on and score another. They were also helped when Spanish referee Carballo sent off Sokratis Papastathopoulos on 44 mins for two yellow cards. The decision was a controversial one as it appeared Sokratis did little wrong when awarded a second yellow. Poland went into half time feeling confident while Greece were happy for the half to end.
In the second half Greece started the stronger and laid truth to the claim that it’s harder to play against ten men. Poland never seemed to get going and after 51 mins half time Greek sub Salpingidis capitalized on a mistake from Polish keeper Szczesny to equalize for the Greeks. Poland seemed rattled while Greece had some how composed themselves after a difficult first half.
Poland wouldn’t have the numerical advantage for much longer when Szczesny was sent off in the 55th min after clipping Salpingidis who was running onto the ball. The keeper was sent off and reserve keeper Tyton came on to face the resulting penalty. Greek captain Karagounis stepped up but saw his tame effort saved by the keeper. The captain sunk to his knees as the Polish support roared. Buoyed on by that miss Poland tried to find a winner but the two teams evened each other out. There were no real chances after the penalty apart from a Greek effort that was correctly ruled out for offside.
Poland will be disappointed that they couldn’t capitalise on their first half dominance but equally Greece will be upset they couldn’t win the game after starting the match poorly. Overall a great start to the tournament, a highly entertaining match and hopefully a sign of better things to come in this competition.