Here are three thoughts from the Euro 2012 opener between Poland and Greece.
Two dropped points for the Greeks. As crazy as that would have sounded after the first 45 minutes, Greece—in large part due to the insertion of Dimitris Salpingidis—was very much the better side in the second half and felt like they were on their way to victory when Giorgios Karagounis stepped up to the penalty spot with 20 minutes to go. But Przemyslaw Tyton, having just entered the game after Wojchiech Szczesny was sent off, dove to his left to save the penalty on his first touch of the match. The Greek attack woke up in the second half, and looked more likely than the Poles to win the match.
What was the referee looking at? Of course in any major international tournament, refereeing controversies will erupt. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, we didn't have to wait until halftime of the tournament opener for the first one to take place. Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo booked Greece's Sokratis Papastathopoulos twice for...I'm not sure if anyone knows what. Two bookings for non-existent fouls.
Group A is still very much wide open. Had either team taken three points out of the tournament opener, it might have been in the driver's seat to reach the quarterfinals and losers might have kissed their hopes of reaching the knockout stage bye-bye. Poland will need more out of Robert Lewandowski, who was pretty much absent in the second half against Greece, and might be hampered by the suspension of Szczesny. But they can breathe a huge sigh of relief after getting a point from the opener. As for Greece, it looks like they can play some attractive football.
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