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UEFA Lines - Poland and Greece Equalize

Posted by Elio Masi on 6/11/2012 8:07:58 PM

UEFA Lines – Poland and Greece Equalize

Wow, what a game! Theatrics doesn’t even begin to describe what was witnessed in the opening game of the UEFA lines European Cup. From red cards to penalty shots to injuries and unlikely events, the Greece-Poland game had everything. They managed to put on quite a show for two teams that are considered extreme long shots for the Championship.

With Greece falling behind early in the first half and Sokratis Papadopoulos being sent of as well as Avraam Papadopoulos leaving the pitch limping, it seemed that Greece’s chance at equalizing - let alone advancing past groups - had vanished. However, the Greeks continued to play and showed extreme resiliency under Fernando Santos, their head coach. Dimitris Salpingidis was able to come off the bench and equalize for his team, giving them life once more.

After coming on for just six minutes, Salpingidis was able to make a direct impact on the game and carry his team to the draw. With the goal, Salpingidis became the only Greek player to ever score in both the final stage of a Euro and FIFA World Cup, an extraordinary achievement for Greece’s history. Salpingidis also won his team the penalty later on in the game but Greece was unable to capitalize. A heartbroken Giorgos Karagounis, who took the penalty shot, was unable to win his team the game in his 118th-cap.

Kostas Fortounis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos also played fantastically for the Greeks coming off the bench, both excelling in their respective positions. Fortunis seemed to pass the ball through Poland’s defense with easy while Papadopoulos stood tall and powerful against Poland’s best efforts.

As for Poland, it’s difficult to imagine a better start for keeper Przemyslaw Tyton, who came off the bench in the 70th minute to stop Karagounis’s penalty shot. After Szczesny got the red card, Tyton faced the daunting task of coming off the bench to stop a penalty with virtually no warm up. “I felt like I was in a dream. This was the chance I really wanted to help the team. I am happy that, thank God, I saved this penalty,” Tyton confessed after the game. Best known as the ‘Penalty killer’ in the Netherlands, where he plays for PSV, it almost makes sense for Tyton to make the save with the entire UEFA lines game on the line. With Szczesny being suspended, it is definitely comforting knowing that they have a great keeper to replace him.

Despite having a good start, Poland deteriorated over time as Greece slowly began to take over the game. If they can stay composed from kickoff in their upcoming games, they’ll have better luck against the other teams in their group.

Elio’s Edge
To be honest, I thought this game was going to be a bust. It turned out to be very entertaining and I enjoyed watching it. It’ll be a tough tournament for both of these squads and it’ll come down to who can beat the Czech’s by more goals and who can conceive less against the power house Russians. Should be an interesting week for group A, but one thing is for sure, after what happened on day one I’m not making any UEFA lines predictions anytime soon for these two teams. Russia has top spot locked up but the second seed is pretty much wide opened. Can’t wait for Tuesday.

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