Euro 2012 - Two see red as Greece hold Poland

Fri, 08 Jun 18:53:00 2012

Co-hosts Poland and Greece fought out a 1-1 draw in a frantic Euro 2012 opener that saw both teams finish with 10 men at Warsaw's Stadion Narodowy.

salpingidis greece EURO 2012 - 0

Poland benefited from a bright opening to the Group A match before a crowd of 56,826 when Robert Lewandowski headed them into the lead on 17 minutes from a lovely Jakub Blaszczykowski cross as Greece goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias paid the price for coming from his goal but failing to collect the ball as it flew across his area.

Greece had managed to upset hosts Portugal in the opening match of the tournament on their way to winning Euro 2004, but their evening was rapidly turning into a nightmare when Sokratis Papastathopoulos was red carded three minutes before half-time for a second yellow card after he was deemed to have fouled Rafel Murawski midway inside his half.

He had been booked moments earlier for a supposedly late challenge on Lewandowski despite replays showing he had won the ball fairly and squarely in the air against the Borussia Dortmund striker.

It was a harsh decision by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, but perhaps not a major surprise when one learned later that the Spanish official had produced 16 red cards in 19 La Liga matches last season.

Co-hosts Poland and Greece fought out a 1-1 draw in a Euro 2012 opener that saw both teams finish with 10 men at Warsaw's Stadion Narodowy. - 2 Poland looked to be heading for a momentous first win at the European Championships, but were stunned on 51 minutes as Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny missed Vassilis Torosidis's cross ball enabling Greece substitute Dimitrios Salpingidis to stab the ball home from close range.

Szczesny's night went from bad to worse when he was red carded on 68 minutes after felling Salpingidis as he raced in on goal on 68 minutes.

Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis stepped up to take the penalty, but planted his penalty too close to substitute Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton who dived to his left to make the stop and ensure his side a point from a match they might have won given their advantage at the break.

Whether it will prove to be good enough to help Poland reach the last eight of the tournament remains to be seen with Russia and Czech Republic their other opponents in what appears to be the weakest group at the finals.

It was all Poland in the first period with Chalkias forced to swipe an effort by Murawski over his bar on four minutes with Lewandowski just failing to connect with a Lukasz Piszcezk cross eight minutes later.

Damien Perquis smashed a shot wide when he should have hit the target eight minutes before half-time as Poland could and should have finished matters off ahead of the second half.

Greece looked a whole lot more sprightly as they re-emerged with their 10 men as Salpingidis - on for Sotiris Ninis at half-time - made a noticeable difference to their attacking instincts. It was hard to argue they were not worthy of the point.

Co-hosts Poland and Greece fought out a 1-1 draw in a Euro 2012 opener that saw both teams finish with 10 men at Warsaw's Stadion Narodowy. - 3

Desmond Kane / Eurosport

Comment 71 - 91 of 91

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  1. Polska do Boju ! Wygrywamy , pokonamy­ wszystkich!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From Paul, on Sat 16 Jun 9:54
  2. .....learned later that the Spanish official had­ produced 16 red cards in 19 La Liga matches last­ season. Why in heck's name was he asked to­ officiate at the Euros then?????

    From Eliot, on Sun 10 Jun 14:03
  3. If UEFA pick the best referees for this competition­ why do we see such unbelievably bad decisions seen in­ the Poland-Greece game.The red card shown to the Greek­ player was to put it bluntly ,laughable.....the tackles­ he made were actually good ones so what the hell was­ the 'man in black'doing by sending him­ off?????? .The officials need to show a bit of common­ sense more often and remember that players are living a­ dream by playing in such competitions ...and before we­ is a CONTACT sport .

    From J, on Sat 9 Jun 16:46
  4. Not watching anymore games. Referees ruin the game.­ Good luck Greece you are going to need it with these­ Greek hating referees.

    From A Yahoo! user, on Sat 9 Jun 15:43
  5. You wont get rid of the dodgy or corrupt referees until­ you get rid of the corrupt FIFA regime under sepp­ blatter

    From nev, on Sat 9 Jun 15:38
  6. Pahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa­ haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!! Whata Mug he should have­ known better !!! No sympathy.

    From phil, on Sat 9 Jun 13:54
  7. mattoid, i dare you to come to Poland, live here 1­ year, 5 years, 10 years.... and then tell me if my­ nation has a problem. Because, as you speak now, you­ have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. GET­ REAL.

    From Bartosz, on Sat 9 Jun 13:04
  8. where are the comments?

    From Peter Gwiazda, on Sat 9 Jun 12:48
  9. @Phyper1, they have always been biased. Alan Hansen,s­ comments (at any time during any Greek game, ever ) are­ often just on the edge of what should be acceptable. A­ biased commentator or just a bit racist ? I would love­ to see his team coming back with 10 men, and almost­ turning the game.

    From Panos, on Sat 9 Jun 12:39
  10. Hope the UK media stay away from the­ 'political' issues when they broadcast the­ football and leave that to 'News Night'. As for­ the first match; the players seemed up for it and the­ Polish people did. Hope the same can be said of the­ English players and fans but I doubt it by the time the­ media - particularly the BBC - have finished brain­ washing them.

    From Olderandwiser, on Sat 9 Jun 12:17
  11. I was surprised at the bias of the Media, and­ especially the BBC match comentators and, may I say, of­ the writer, above, at their one sided inference that­ Poland is a better team. They were talking all the time­ as if they were 'supporters' of Poland and they­ all placed Greece in the underdog den. They were not­ fair to the Greeks who proved them wrong. Even the­ referee was against the Greeks and had they scored the­ penalty all these people would have been dumbfounded.­ The ball is round, the game is not over until it is all­ over and anything can happen. I don't pay you, via­ my TV Licence to go there and be biased on one team­ over an other, unless England were playing. Brush up­ your acts, mates!!!!!

    From Phyper1, on Sat 9 Jun 12:04
  12. Bring back the great Pier Luigi Collina !!! Yes, the­ bald guy who was the ref in the opener in Portugal 04.­ Carballo robbed the Greeks last night. 16 red cards in­ 19 games is quite some record !!! I think there will­ even be Polish supporters believing the 1st red was­ unfair. As for the game, my thoughts, good opening­ party, good game from the host's, totally­ unimpressed from Greek play on 1st half, totally amazed­ from 2nd half. The 10 man team looked better than the­ 11 man team ! Let's play all our games with 10 men­ ! Go the sikoseto brigade GOOOOOO !

    From Panos, on Sat 9 Jun 12:04
  13. Spanish refs are a disgrace to the game. Just watch any­ Barcelona game and see which way they lean.

    From Jonah, on Sat 9 Jun 11:54
  14. Go Greece!!!!!!!!!!

    From , on Sat 9 Jun 10:16
  15. To mattoid, of course we've got problem we­ don't deny it ,but have you been in the pub lately?­ specially out of London?

    From Witold, on Sat 9 Jun 9:38
  16. WHAT is Carballo doing officiating at a major­ tournament? The guy is a complete prat and­ shouldn't be let anywhere near a football pitch let­ alone at the Euro's.....

    From Stevie T, on Sat 9 Jun 9:12
  17. the sentence Co-hosts Poland and Greece is correct if u­ read it right Co-hosts Poland - and- Greece. The same­ as saying Poland and Greece

    From daryll h, on Sat 9 Jun 8:51
  18. BBC in troubles back in Poland ,apparently they lost­ John Terry in the crowd!

    From Witold, on Sat 9 Jun 8:45
  19. "Co-Hosts Poland Greece..." ehh? Aren't­ the co hosts of Euro 2012 Poland and Ukraine?

    From Dave, on Sat 9 Jun 7:52
  20. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Bartosz; how many nazi salutes and brutalised indians­ does it take for you to admit that your nations have a­ problem? you accuse british football of similar­ problems but that was in the 1970s. get real.

    From mattoid, on Sat 9 Jun 7:46
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