Expert analysis of the events in Poland and Ukraine
Back of the Net
The Back of the Net team give their unique take on the opening game of Euro 2012 - Poland 1-1 Greece
The opening match of the European Championships of 2012 completely failed to live up to its billing, as Poland and Greece played out a 1-1 draw that was characterised by a dearth of highly-anticipated timewasting and a complete lack of unwatchably negative anti-football.
The game was hotly tipped as one to watch by killjoys and insomniacs, mindful of Poland’s memorably average squad and Greece’s dazzling reputation in the eyes of expert masochists.
But instead, viewers were served up two goals, two red cards and a missed penalty, leaving many feeling they’d been misled by the pre-match billing.
“Anyone who expected us to play an ugly but effective style will be disappointed,” said Greece’s manager, Fernando Santos. “And that includes me.”
Santos’s sentiments were echoed by his Polish counterpart, Franciszek Smuda. “Anyone who watched Poland at Euro 2008 knows what we’re capable of, namely disjointed, uninspiring dross,” he said. “Did you see us at the last World Cup? Of course not, we weren’t there. We won three games in qualifying, and two of those were against San Marino.”
Robert Lewandowski’s 17th-minute goal came as a surprise to no-one, except those who’d previously seen Poland play, and Dimitris Salpigidis’s 51st minute equaliser was a slap in the face for everyone who thought Greece could only threaten from set-plays.
Mindful of having let their audience down, the Poles were in contrite mood after the match.
“I have to say, one performance like this is not a reflection of our true quality,” Smuda told FourFourTwo.com. “I’m confident that things will return to normal against Russia on Tuesday.”
Erratic Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo was also praised for making a potentially dire game more entertaining, and consequently looks set to be appointed to England’s clash with Ukraine.
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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