Two goals, two red cards, a saved penalty and beards. Lots of beards.
And that was just game one of day one, the opening fixture between Poland and Greece that served to dramatically usher in Euro 2012.
Finding themselves both a goal and a man up coming out of the halftime interval, co-host Poland could not close the deal, surrendering an equalizer and penalty to a galvanized Greek side. The match finished 1-1, with questions and bans to be sorted out by both squads.
In contrast to the twists and turns of Friday’s first match, the nightcap proved fairly straightforward.
Russia ripped the Czech Republic for two goals early and never really wavered from that pace for the remainder of the contest.
The Czechs took one back to make it 2-1 early in the second half, but two more Russian goals by Alan Dzagoev and Roman Pavlyuchenko put the game out of reach. The 4-1 result puts Russia firmly in control of Group A and leaves the Nároďák with a must-win showdown against Greece in Round 2.
After a day of exciting football, Group A looks as follows:
Here are five takeaways from an entertaining day one at Euro 2012.