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Euro 2012: Group A live blog

by Rob Dore | June 16, 2012

Things are finely poised in Group A going in to the final games. All four teams are still in with a chance of qualifying and whoever wins tonight is going through to the quarter-finals. Russia and Czech Republic can progress with draws but that’s a dangerous game to play as Poland and Greece will go all out for a win.
How will things unfold? We’ll be watching both games to find out.

======================================
Final: Greece 1 – 0 Russia
Final: Poland 0 – 1 Czech Rep

So Greece make it through. they deserved it on their performance tonight. They defended really well and although Russia had by far the more chances the quality was missing in their finishing. Can they go all the way now?

Poland had a right go in the other game but the Czech Republic were able to hold out. No clangers from Cech tonight.

Greece are a tasty 50/1 to go all the way and the Czech Republic are 33/1 in the outright betting. Stranger things have happened.

Full-Time: How do like them apples? Russia are out!!!

21.38: Dzagoev has Russia’s last chance but puts it over the bar.

Full Time: It’s all over in Wraclow and the Czech Republic go through thanks to Jiracek’s goal.

21.35: Pogrebnyak takes the ball down with his arm in a desperate effort to score and gets a booking.

21.33: Peckhart is on for Baros as the Czech’s run the clock down. In the other game Russia are floundering a little. They’re minutes away from going out.

21.31: Poland going for it now but the Czech’s are holding firm. Only minutes left in both games.

21.29: Ninis replaced Salpingidis a few minutes back. Katsouranis is being carried off the pitch after a bout of time wasting. Greece down to ten men. Unsurprisingly he’s right back to his feet. A miracle that.

21.27: Arshavin puts one in for Dzagoev but his touch is inches wide. Only one goal needed.

21.26: In Wroclaw, goalscorer Jiracek is replaced by Rajtoral.

21.25: Izmailov is on for Russia as Advocaat’s last throw of the dice

21.24: Anytime Greece go forward, which isn’t too often, they look more likely to score.

21.21: Poland hit on the break after a Czech corner and win a corner themselves. Cech fists it away.

21.19: It’s last ditch defending from Greece at times but they’re pretty good at it. Russia are getting frustrated.

21.18: Russia keep pushing forward and Denisov has another shot from distance. It’s on target but gathered up by Sifakis.

21.16: As things stand Greece and Czech Republic are through.

21.14: Moments before that goal Maniatis cracked a free kick off the Russian upright. And then Dzagoev was booked for him.

21.13: Goal!!! Jiracek scores for Czech Republic

21.12: In Warsaw Zhirkov is booked for pulling back Salpingidis.

21.12: Still no goals in Wroclaw. It’s a scrappy game but who wants it more?

21.10: Goalscorer Karagounis is replaced by Makos. The Greek number 10 lets the 4th official what he thinks about that yellow card as he leaves the pitch.

21.07: Tyton makes a good save after a dangerous ball is swung in to a crowded Poland box. Deserves his place between the sticks.

21.04: Karagounis is tripped in the box and the referee books him for diving instead of giving a penalty. Poor decision that and Karagounis misses the next game. If Greece go through.

21.02: Torosidis gets free in the Russian box and puts a dangerous ball in which is scooped over the bar. The corner results in another corner.

20.59: Greece’s defence are closing down every Russian attack so far. Limiting them to shots from distance.

Current Prices: Poland 13/8, Czech Rep 16/5, Draw 11/10

20.54: Samaras has started well in the second-half. He goes on another run in to the Russian half but shoots when he should pass and it comes to nothing.

Current Prices: Greece 11/10, Russia 16/5, Draw 15/8

20.51: Pavlyuchenko came on for Kerzhakov at half-time.

20.50: Polanski gets a yellow card for a rash challenge. He’ll miss the next match if Poland qualify.

20.48: And they’re off in Warsaw too.

20.47: Things have kicked off again in Wroclaw between Poland and Czech Republic. Both sides need to win as things currently stand.

20.43: As things stand Russia and Greece go through. Is this Greece side any worse than that of 2004?

Fun Fact: Apparently Poland stopper Tyton’s name means tobacco in Polish. Will he help smoke the Czechs? I know, that’s a terrible pun but simultaneously watching two games, where the the teams are wearing red and white and nearly every player’s name would earn several hundred points in scrabble can frazzle the brain a little.

Half-time: Right before the end of the half and against the run of play, old man Karagounis gets free and smashes a shot under Malafeev. This’d be a right shocker.

20.32: Goal!!! Karagounis scores right before half-time to put Greece.

Half-Time: All square at the break beteween Poland and the Czech Republic. Lots of effort but not enough composure in the attacking third from both sides.

20.29: Russia are pouring forward looking for a goal. Arshavin gets the ball in the box. It pings around dangerously before being cleared.

20.24: Glushakov has a shot for Russia which is deflected behind for a corner. The corner comes to Zhirkov, he hits a good shot which flies just over. He’s getting closer.

20.23: Pilar takes it down the wing, lays back to Plasil in the middle. His deflected shot threatens to beat Tyton. It doesn’t.

20.22: Plasil plays a lovely ball over the top for Baros. The former Liverpool man fails to bring it down and the chance is gone. He used to be a decent striker, right?

20.21: Shirokov has his heels clipped in the Greek box. An accidental coming together but the ref had to make a decision. He decided it wasn’t a penalty.

20.19: It’s back-and-forth fare in Wroclaw but neither Poland or the Czech Rep can find a way through.

20.15: Luckily for Greece fans the Russians don’t appear to have brought their shooting boots tonight.

20.14: Greece aren’t exactly going for it in Warsaw. In fact they’re inviting Russia on to them. Arshavin puts in a dangerous ball which is cleared for a corner.

20.10: Another Czech foray forward breaks down and Poland break. Rosicky’s absence is rather noticeable in the Czech midfield.

20.08: Poland’s Murawski goes in the book after Baros makes the meal of some contact between the two.

20.06: Boenisch has a great strike which Cech pushes around the post. It’s all Poland here.

20.04: Russia are on top in Warsaw. This time Arshavin’s hurried shot flies wide.

20.01: Zhirkov goes on a great run and gets right in to the Greek box. He lays it back but there’s nowhere there to take advantage.

20.00: Polanski is the latest Polish player to put a shot over the bar, striking from just outside the box It’s all Poland at the moment but they need to score whilst they’re in the ascendancy.

19.57: Limbersky goes in the book after taking down Blaszczykowski. The free-kick causes problems in the box but the Czechs clear.

19.55: Chances in both games, Arshavin and Lewandowski go close.

19.52: Poland on the attack and Cech needs to be sharp to close down Blaszczykowski. The resulting corner comes to nothing. Better signs from the Chelsea man.

19.49: A lively start in both games. Dudka hit an overhead kick in to the side netting for the Czechs. The fans though it was in. It wasn’t

19.45: We have kick-off in both games.

19.39: The bigger stories as fas as line-ups go is the absence of Rosicky from the Czech Republic and Arsenal’s Szczesny not being picked for Poland. We wonder if that led to a clash with Tyton. Boom! Starting off at a right pace tonight here on the Paddy Power blog.

Teams

Russia:
13 Sifakis, 02 Maniatis, 03 Tzavelas, 05 K Papadopoulos, 15 Torosidis, 19 Papastathopoulos, 10 Karagounis, 21 Katsouranis, 07 Samaras, 14 Salpingidis, 17 Gekas

Greece:
16 Malafeev, 02 Aniukov, 04 Ignashevich, 05 Zhirkov, 12 Berezutsky, 06 Shirokov, 07 Denisov, 17 Dzagoev, 22 Glushakov, 10 Arshavin, 11 Kerzhakov

Ref:
Eriksson

Czech Rep:
01 Cech, 02 Gebre Selassie, 03 Kadlec, 06 Sivok, 08 Limbersky, 13 Plasil, 14 Pilar, 17 Hubschman, 18 Kolar, 19 Jiracek, 15 Baros

Poland:
22 Tyton, 02 Boenisch, 13 Wasilewski, 15 Perquis, 20 Piszczek, 05 Dudka, 07 Polanski, 10 Obraniak, 11 Murawski, 16 Blaszczykowski, 09 Lewandowski

Ref:
Craig Thomson

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