In a hostile environment in the Polish capital, Warsaw, Russia, once rulers of the capital, were to play Poland in a key game of Group A. A win would have guaranteed Quarter-Final spot for the Russians. It was also ‘Russia Day’ as fans marched towards the National Stadium, but chaos broke through and many got injured in the process. Police are still investigating on what caused such an uproar and who are responsible for bringing disrepute to the beautiful game.

Greece 1 – 2 Czech Republic

( Gekas 53′) Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? Ai??( Jiracek 3′, Pilar 6′)

After a dismal first day showing, the Czech Republic outfit needed to show some grit against the home team. And that is exactly what they showed as the game started in electrifying fashion. Two incredible through balls, and clever finishes in the first six minutes saw the Greece team struggling to keep up with the pace of Rosicky and his men. Jiracek and Pilar gave the perfect start and the travelling fans at Wroclaw were already ecstatic.Ai??The Czech dominated most of the first half and kept a lot of possession but the Greeks had their chance too. A harshly disallowed goal (a Ai??Giorgos Fotakis’ header )Ai??because of offside wasn’t a particularly agreeable one for the neutrals.

Pilar - Always a threat on the wings!

.

The second half started with the Chelsea keeper providing a lifeline to the Greeks; a strange scramble from the veteran keeper gave the ball away to Gekas who obliged in style. Meanwhile, the Czech lost their captain Rosicky through an injury, and with it a lot of creative spark in the middle of the park. The Greeks started dominating the game, throwing in waves of attack as the Czech defenders performed admirably. The strategy was to hit on a counter-attack. Players such as Pilar and Selassie really helping the cause as they sprinted on the wings with desire and a lot of threat. For Greece, their Scottish League striker Samaras had a few chances, but he wasn’t upto the task. Throughout the game, the Greeks never created any clear-cut chances and struggled to find space in the Czech defense, which was quiteAi??lacklusterAi??when Arshavin’s men had taken to the field on the first day of the campaign. The Greeks weren’t particularly happy with the refereeing at the end of the game.

Ai??”I said I didn’t want to judge referees because they are human but when a coincidence repeats itself it’s no longer a human error. I am sad because today we also had an adulterated result.” -Torosidis said

With this result, the group is wide open and the final day of matches will end up deciding both the spots for the Quarter-Final berth.

Player Of The Match

Theodor Selassie (Czech Republic)

Russia 1 – 1 Poland

( Dzagoev 37”) Ai?? Ai?? Ai?? ( BlaszczykowskiAi??57′)

After a bright start on Day One, the Russians needed to win this game to directly qualify for the next stage, but eventually they failed to rip open the Polish defense. Arshavin’s in-swinging free-kick found the head of Dzagoev in the first half as Russia took the lead in a hostile atmosphere in the Polish home stadium. The Russians looked a little out of sorts for most parts of the game, which was admitted later by their star captain.

Not Really A Good Idea!

.

The Polish came back with a stunning equalizer in the second half, an incredible left-footed stunner from the right side of the field, after cutting in; Blaszczykowski and the home fans will never forget this one! In the second half, the Poles played a high tempo game with intricate passing and always looked dangerous. Star manAi??Lewandowski, often seen in the heart of the Russian defense, caused a lot of worry for his opponents, but he failed to convert the chances he got. The Russians had theirAi??occasionalAi??chances with Arshavin driving down the wings and feedingAi??Kerzhakov, but the strikers’ efforts weren’t upto the mark.

“One for presidents and peasants!”Ai??- Peter Drury (ITV Commentator), after the cracking Poland goal.

Player Of The Match

Jakub Blaszczykowski (Poland)

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