So the opening day of Euro 2012 is done and dusted—a day of thrilling excitement, but also crushing disappointment.
While the hopes of the Polish nation were not the highest coming into this competition, they would have still fancied their chances against an industrious Greek side lacking in overall talent.
Current talisman Robert Lewandowski handed the Poles a dream start, but following some distinctly uncharacteristic blunders from the usually reliable goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the Greeks endeavoured to ruin Poland's party, as substitute Dimitris Salpigidis came on to score a dramatic equaliser.
The result favours neither team and leaves both their fates precariously in the balance.
Group A favourites Russia, on the other hand, had the perfect start, cementing their place as many pundits' dark horses.
A devastating display of quick and sharp counter-attacking football helped the Russians to a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic, with young and mercurial talent Alan Dzagoev, the competition's current top goal scorer, netting two goals.
However, what of the other players' performances?
In this slideshow, I will pick a team of the opening day.
Though obviously based around the impressive Russian side, there were some other impressive performances from certain individuals, with many positions a close call in this team's 4-4-2 formation.
Forced to come on for the sent of Wojciech Szczesny, ending the Arsenal goalkeeper's nightmare game, Tyton, 25, had a dramatic and crucial impact on the game, saving Greek captain Giorgios Karagounis's penalty.
In doing so, the PSV player became the first keeper in the history of the European championships to come on and save a penalty.
Rescuing a point for the Poles, who should have won the game in the first half, is enough to see Tyton in my team.
There were no outstanding performances in this position, so Zhirkov's solid display against the Czech duo of Jan Rezek and the rampaging Gebre Selassie, with little help from right winger Andrei Arshavin, was more than enough to see him make the cut.
The 28-year-old Anzhi Makhachkala player did not manage to get forward as much as he would have liked, but his sporadic forays offered glimpses of how dangerous the former Chelsea player can be when given room to attack.
Again, there were little outstandingly dominant displays at the centre of defence from any team, but CSKA Moscow stalwart Ignashevich, 32, along with club partner Alexei Berezutsky, provided the stability at the back that allowed Russia's attacking players to shine.
Without his twin brother Vasili for the first time at a major competition, Alexei, 29, showed slight signs of being overawed at the start of the game, but grew in stature as it progressed.
His understanding with partner Ignashevich is clear to see, and the composure of the duo will be crucial to Russia's progression.
One of the most hard-fought places in this team, Borussia Dortmund player Piszczek narrowly wins against strong competition from Russia's Alexander Anyukov and the Czech Republic's Gebre Selassie.
The 27-year-old Pole has emerged in Germany as one of the league's most attacking and effective full-backs this season, and these qualities were on show from the off in the opening game of this tournament.
Quick, full of energy and with good crossing ability, Piszczek will need to continue this form, which has seen him linked with Real Madrid, if Poland are to have any chance of progressing.
Perhaps a surprise inclusion in the team over the more experienced Igor Semshov, the Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder dispelled any doubts with an accomplished display capped off by a deft chip over Petr Čech.
Again with the Russian team, it was club understanding that drove their midfield trio, with all three players representing the St. Petersburg club, and Shirokov was the best of the three.
Tirelessly running from box to box, it was his endeavour that won him his goal. A pass not intended for him was collected as he drove into box and coolly dispatched the chance over the onrushing Czech keeper.
Narrowly beating out club teammate Igor Denisov, Zyryanov, 34, was crucial not only to Russia's win but their entire style of play.
Providing cover for his back four, but also quickly turning defence into attack, Zyryanov played several delightful cutting passes in his attempts to unlock the banks of Czech players.
Tipped by many, including myself, to be a star of this tournament, Dzagoev, who will turn 22 in the middle of the competition, did not disappoint and was one of the first names on this team sheet.
The CSKA Moscow player was a constant thorn on the Russian right wing for the Czechs, utilising the space left by attacking full-back Michal Kadlec to devastating effect.
His intelligent movement led to two goals for the prodigiously talented young man, the first a brilliant follow-up from Kerzhakov's post-hitting header, while the second was even better. Great passing from the Russians was completed by a stunning strike from Dzagoev, winning him the Man of the Match and setting him up as the current top goal scorer of the competition.
While Dzagoev was one of the first names on the team sheet, Arshavin, 31, was the first name. Pulling the strings behind nearly every positive move Russia made, Arshavin was superb whenever he received the ball.
Arsenal fans will be distraught to see this kind of performance from a player who rarely displayed this level of play while in London, but Arshavin has cemented his reputation as being a player at his best when playing in or for his home country.
At times terrorising the Czech defence with his intelligent moving and incisive passing, questions will still remain over whether Russia's captain can maintain this form, but for now, he is a clear choice to lead the team of the first day.
Lewandowski is the great Polish hope following an impressive second season for the German champions Borussia Dortmund. Following this performance, the hype for the 23-year-old may well prove justified.
A dark horse for many to be top scorer given the inherent weaknesses in Group A, Lewandowski started as he will surely wish to continue, scoring the opener after seven minutes with a great header from a late drive into the box that left the Greek defence standing.
Constantly being linked with Manchester United, Lewandowski's play beyond the goal suggested he could be a star of the tournament, providing great link-up play with his compatriots.
All in all, Lewandowski is the perfect choice to help lead the line of this team.
Another player to come off the bench and make an impressive contribution, Pavlyuchenko, 30, looks to have staked a claim to replace Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who became the first player in Euro history to have seven shots off target in a single game—that would be difficult to argue.
First providing the assist for Dzagoev's second goal, the Lokomotiv Moscow striker then scored perhaps the goal of the game, jinking around the Czech defence to drive home an unstoppable strike, despite Cech getting a hand to it.
Decisively leading the line in this style will surely provoke Dick Advocaat to promote Pavlyuchenko to the first 11, following the real achievement of being named in the team of the opening day.
So that concludes the team of the opening day of Euro 2012. In my opinion, at least.
If you have any problems or suggestions for the team, then please comment. I will be providing a similar team tomorrow for day two.
Featuring Germany vs. Portugal and Denmark vs. the Netherlands, this promises to be just as, if not more, exciting than what we have already witnessed.