I will be doing a day-by-day reviews of everything going on in Poland and Ukraine this summer. This summer is, for those who do not know, the Euro’s, a European competition in which 16 teams (this year) take part in order to win a trophy. To non-football fans, it’s just a game. To football fans, it’s the pinnacle of European sport. So, enjoy!
Poland 1-1 Greece
Russia 4-1 Czech Republic
What was expected to be a rather ‘boring’ group by many Westerner Europeans (you know, the ones kind of overly excited about Group B), was in actual fact two of the exciting international matches I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch for two different reasons. The first game for the controversy, the second game for the downright delightful goals.
Poland really did outplay Greece, scoring early on and after two rather unnecessary yellow cards (and so a red and therefore a sending off) for Papastathopoulos towards the end of the first half, it seemed unlikely they would bring it back. Bu they did, scoring early in the second half. The Polish goalkeeper was sent off, a penalty saved and the game returned to evens- 10 a side- and no more goals were to be scored. The two yellows was a very controversial decision by the Spanish referee as were a few later yellows.
All in all, I expected worse from the Polish and better from the Greeks so surprises all round!
Russia also completely outplayed the Czechs-I wouldn’t be surprised if they gone up in the betting-although for most of the game the score line did reflect this. It went from 1-0, to 2-0, to 2-1 and stayed this way (albeit with some attempts from Kerzakhov. The firsts of which looked good, the lasts which looked like he was trying not to score.) until the near end when the Russians proved what a side they could be.
Russian’s could go far if they keep it up, although many are unsure of how they will fare against more Western European football. Many still expect the Czech’s to go through despite the defeat, but I think a slightly more able and altogether more put together Poland could. Keep an eye on Lewandowski (Poland), (apparently heading for an English team) whose goal was rather good.