BotN: Poland vs Greece fails to live up to expectations, thank God
The Back of the Net team give their unique take on the opening game of Euro 2012 - Poland 1-1 Greece
The opening match of the European Championships of 2012 completely failed to live up to its billing, as Poland and Greece played out a 1-1 draw that was characterised by a dearth of highly-anticipated timewasting and a complete lack of unwatchably negative anti-football.
The game was hotly tipped as one to watch by killjoys and insomniacs, mindful of PolandÃ¢ÂÂs memorably average squad and GreeceÃ¢ÂÂs dazzling reputation in the eyes of expert masochists.
But instead, viewers were served up two goals, two red cards and a missed penalty, leaving many feeling theyÃ¢ÂÂd been misled by the pre-match billing.
Ã¢ÂÂAnyone who expected us to play an ugly but effective style will be disappointed,Ã¢ÂÂ said GreeceÃ¢ÂÂs manager, Fernando Santos. Ã¢ÂÂAnd that includes me.aÃ¢ÂÂ
SantosÃ¢ÂÂs sentiments were echoed by his Polish counterpart, Franciszek Smuda. Ã¢ÂÂAnyone who watched Poland at Euro 2008 knows what weÃ¢ÂÂre capable of, namely disjointed, uninspiring dross,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂDid you see us at the last World Cup? Of course not, we werenÃ¢ÂÂt there. We won three games in qualifying, and two of those were against San Marino.Ã¢ÂÂ
Robert LewandowskiÃ¢ÂÂs 17th-minute goal came as a surprise to no-one, except those whoÃ¢ÂÂd previously seen Poland play, and Dimitris SalpigidisÃ¢ÂÂs 51st minute equaliser was a slap in the face for everyone who thought Greece could only threaten from set-plays.
Mindful of having let their audience down, the Poles were in contrite mood after the match.
Ã¢ÂÂI have to say, one performance like this is not a reflection of our true quality,Ã¢ÂÂ Smuda told FourFourTwo.com. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm confident that things will return to normal against Russia on Tuesday.Ã¢ÂÂ
Erratic Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo was also praised for making a potentially dire game more entertaining, and consequently looks set to be appointed to EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs clash with Ukraine.
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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