Euro Cup 2012: Day 5 Highlights- Greece vs Czech Republic (2-1) and Poland vs Russia (1-1)
Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Here are the highlights from the Day 5 fixtures of the Euro 2012.
Czech Republic took on Greece first up at and co-hosts Poland locked horns with Russia.
Quick-fire Czechs down Greece: A pummeling 4-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, had left Czech Republic a lot to do and that is exactly what they did in the first 6 minutes of the game, scoring two goals, becoming the first nation in European championships to achieve the feat as they defeated a lacklustre Greece 2-1 in their second Group A fixture at Wroclaw.
The Czechs setup a blistering pace in the first 10 minutes- an evident ploy to unsettle the makeshift Greek backline of Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Kostas Katsouranis, and they reaped results instantaneously as Tomas Hubschman executed a pass between the two central defenders for Jiracek to net the ball in the 3rd minute.
In the sixth minute, Pilar doubled the advantage as he managed to connect a Theodor Gebre Selassie cross into the goal. Greece were further pushed to wall when their first choice goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias picked up an injury only to be replaced by Michalis Sifakis.
In the 53rd min another Greek substitute Fanis Gekas scored courtesy a blunder by Petr Cech. Petr Cech, the Czech goalkeeper spilled a simple gather, a cross from Giorgos Samaras into the path of Fanis Gekas, who put the ball into the empty net.
During half time, the Czech’s inspirational midfielder Rosický was replaced and with that the pace of the Czech attack came down visibly but the men in red held on to their slender lead of 2-1 to win the fixture as two of Greece’s goals were disallowed owing to offside fouls.
Intense clash at Warsaw: The second fixture of the day was between Poland and Russia. The high octane clash ended in a 1-1 draw but it was the off-field clashes that hogged the limelight as Polish and Russian fans clashed with each other with more than 100 fans were by the riot police. On-field, the Russians were the superior team with Andrei Arshavin making his presence felt in the midfield.
But an inspired Poland playing at home took the early initiative with an array of attacks led by Robert Lewandowski. Eugen Polanski netted the ball in through a well crafted forward play, but that was ruled offside. Alan Dzagoev though scored the goal in the 37th minute to give Russians the lead.
In the second half, Jakub Blaszczykowski scored a stunner to make the scores level as in a counter attack move Lukasz Piszczek put a precision pass to Blaszczykowski, who after controlling the ball beautifully with his first touch launched a thunderous left footer past Malafeev.
The scores remained 1-1 till the end.