Friday, 8 June 2012

Group A: Poland v Greece: Post Match Analysis

             POLAND 1-1 GREECE 
     Lewandowski 17,            Salpingidis 54, 
 SENT OFF:Szczesny 68,      SENT OFF: Papastathopoulos 44,


Greece start off in their 4-3-3 shape: starting 11:
GK: Chalkias, DF: Holebas, DF: Avraam Papadopoulos, DF: Papastathopoulos, DF: Torosidis MF: Katsouranis, MF: Karagounis, MF: Maniatis, FW: Samaras, ST: Gekas, FW: Ninis.


Poland start off in Their 4-2-3-1 shape Poland Starting 11:
GK: Szczesny, LB: Boenisch, CB: Perquis, CB: Wasilewski, RB: Piszczek, CM: Murawski, CM: Polanski, LFW: Rybus, CW: Obraniak, RFW: Blaszczykowski (Kuba) ST: Lewandowski.

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived, and the Stadion Narodowy in Warszawa is the chosen playground/canvas for these artists to showcase the gallery of what their nation can bring to the table. The Polish players will have mixed emotions, the excitement driving the adrenaline around the body, fighting the fear in the passenger seat that is niggling away. You tell yourself "I have impressed before, I can do it again, I can do better", but then the cheers and the inevitable silence of anticipation: the national anthem ends and it is time for the Euro 2012 party to begin. 


They say football is a game of two halves and this was. Poland were on top in the first half, and the fire in the bellies of the home fans was heating the cauldron that is the Stadion Norodowy. You started to feel that the pressure from this onslaught could be too much for the Greeks to handle. The Dortmund three of Piszczek, Kuba and Lewandoswski combined well down the right side as expected, causing the Greek defence lots of  problems. Holebas especially, on the left side of the Greek defence, found the pace of Poland's right side hard to handle. The Greek's have never been good at chasing a game, and were surprisingly chasing shadows in the first half. Greece did not look like the side that only let in 5 goals en route to the finals. The two full backs for Greece were both too high in the first half, this led to the first goal 17 minutes in, and the problems down Greece's left side showed with the super Lewandowski scoring with his head from a cross   by Kuba that the Goalkeeper should not have come for. The Polish will be wishing they put the game out of sight in the first half when they had some very good clear chances. The Spanish ref, who was very eager with his cards all game, sent off Papastathopoulos just before the half for two fouls, both of which could have gone unpunished. K. Papadopoulos replaced A. Papadopoulos and the Schalke man  played well, making some good tackles. Katsouranis dropped into the defence. Greece had a Penalty claim for a hand ball that never seemed to be, as the rule is that it has to be a deliberate handball or a handball that gives you control of a ball that you wouldn't have if you hadn't handle it. Though this didn't seem to have an effect on the outcome.
Santos had a lot of work to do at half time if Greece was to get anything from the game. He brought on Salpingidis for Ninis and played a 4-2-3 shape. The second half started much the same in the first 5 minutes, and it seemed a case of how many. But then, out of nothing, a nice ball played inside of Boenisch; it didn't look like the attack would cause problems like every one before it, but then Szczesny made the mistake of coming out for a ball that was safe, a shambles between him and the centre back. Gekas left them stranded, and the grateful Salpingidis smashed it into a open net: 1-1. This will be a day that Szczesny will want to forget; if the first mistake wasn't bad enough, the second ended in a red card; it was a perfect ball played in by Fortounis, and Salpingidis, who had been excellent since he came on, brought the ball down and away from the closing Szczesny, who threw himself at the ball in a star jump style and caught the striker: it is a deserved red. Karagounis stepped up, and the new keeper Tyton dove down to his left and saved it. What a start for the new man who will have to be at his best in the next game against Russia. Poland never seemed to get going after the shock goal and Greece grew in confidence, it could have been expected for them to drop off and be happy with the point, but they looked all the more likely to score and did: but it was offside. Greece will see this as a point gained, and Smuda will want his team to be a bit more careful with their passing and shooting in the final third. 













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