Tag: Greece

Euro 2012: The Quarter-Finals – Germany 4-2 Greece

This evening, as we have been reliably, repeatedly and at great length informed over the last few days, is more than a football match. This evening, apparently, is all about geo-politics and economics. While this not true, of course, the presence of Angela Merkel at the PGE Arena in Gdansk – an appearance which is either saying something quite profound about discretion being the better part of valour or will one day be used in dictionaries alongside the definition of the word “chutzpah”- has added a frisson of tension to a match which otherwise would probably be considered little more than a stroll in the park for Germany. The truth of the matter is that this match is, on paper at least, the biggest mismatch of the quarter-finals. Germany wandered through the group stage with three wins which never saw them truly catch fire but didn’t really see them breaking out of second gear. It rather feels as if they may remain a few degrees short of the boil this evening, too – at least for the first thirty minutes. Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez have been replaced by Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose, in a reshuffling of attacking options which some have interpreted as resting players ahead of an inevitable win and a – perhaps – trickier semi-final. Greece, meanwhile, have surprised and upset...

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Euro 2012: Group A – The Final Day

The bunting will be hanging limp in Warsaw and Wroclaw this afternoon. Poland, the co-hosts of the 2012 European Championships, have been eliminated from the competition at the end of an evening which also saw a Russian team which sparkled in its opening match last week against the Czech Republic eliminated. A group which had caused some to roll their eyes ended up providing absolute fascination, with the mathematical permutations of it all stretching to the dying seconds of the last match to finish last night. Going into yesterday evenings matches, any of the four teams could still qualify for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition and throughout the evening the “As It Stands” group table showed, at varying points, three of the teams as being in the top two spots. When the dust had settled, however, it was the team that arrived at half-time in their opening match a goal down and a man down, Greece, and a Czech Republic side that was beaten out of sight in its opening match that would occupy the much-coveted top two positions. On a rainy night in Wroclaw, the task ahead of Poland was a reasonably simple one. A win against the Czech Republic would be enough to see them edge through to the quarter-finals, and they hared from the traps with six attempts on goal in the opening...

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Euro 2012: Czech Republic 2-1 Greece

Greece’s manager Fernando Santos knew what was coming – in the first half at least. He had his head down, his eyes shut and his hand wiping a furrowed brow (a neat facial trick if your eyes are closed). The speech bubble “oh no, here we go again” wrote itself. I’m sure it has been noted somewhere that Santos would be a shoo-in for any Greek remake of the Inspector Wexford Mysteries. Yet he must either be the answer, or have the answer, to one of this tournament’s biggest mysteries to date – why Greece have been so bad in first halves and so much less bad in the second halves. Their two matches at Euro 2012 have resembled most Everton seasons under David Moyes. Although Everton, of course, are a far better side (before anyone writes in). Those finishing work at five o’clock and heading for the nearest pub to watch this game on the way home missed its decisive moments, which were replayed by ITV after the match to the sound of a Warsaw police siren, which added even more of a “Keystone cops” feel to the pictures. Yet despite being two down to a grateful Czech Republic after six minutes, Greece ended up being a little unlucky, as they were an errant arm away from a 2-1 half-time scoreline – one which all the money in...

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Euro 2012: Greece 1-1 Poland

Euro 2012 kicked off with a bang as the opening game served up something for everyone. Two goals from comedy goalkeeping errors, a controversial sending off, a cast-iron sending off, a saved penalty and an inspired substitution gave more memorable moments than most opening games put together. Poland started strongly with Jakub Blaszczkowski, Robert Lewandowski and Rafal Murawski all testing the Greek defence, with Costas Chalkias tipping the latter’s effort over the bar. Lukasz Piszczek puts in a great low cross for Lewandowski, but Vassilis Torosaidis does just enough to keep the Polish number nine from making contact, but it only takes seventeen minutes for the co-hosts to take the lead. Ludovic Obraniak finds space on the right, and feeds the ball so that Blaszczkowski can complete the run. Blaszczkowski puts in an outstanding cross, which deceives the defence, and tempts the Greek keeper Chalkias into coming out too far, and too late, and it allows an unmarked Lewandowski to power a header into the empty net. It’s exactly the start a home side needs in tournament like this. Poland 1 Greece 0. After the goal, both defences push up – the Greeks in order to stem the flow of Polish efforts, and the Poles, in order to protect their lead. With Greece just playing with Theofanis Gekas up front, they find it difficult to create anything, and only...

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Euro Moments: Greece

Euro Moments continues today courtesy of Dotmund and the 2004 European Champions. Twitter: Dotmund / Twohundredpercent And don’t forget you can download Twohundredpercent’s retro interactive Euro 2012 spreadsheet...

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