Greece tied for least amount of goals allowed in qualifying, but gave up a goal less than 20 minutes into their Euro 2012 campaign.
Fortunately, that was the only goal they conceded to Poland in their opening match, and when Dimitris Salpingidis came on as a second half sub with the Greeks down to 10 men, everything changed.
The first 45 minutes were rather ugly for the 2004 Euro champions, but the second 45 were beyond encouraging. Even before the co-hosting Polish were downed to 10 men following a red card on keeper Wojciech Szczesny 25 minutes into the half, the Greeks were creating opportunities.
Salpingidis tied the game up six minutes into the second half and then drew the red card on Szczesny in the 70th that resulted in a penalty kick opportunity.
The Greeks looked more fluid, more dangerous and, most importantly, more comfortable while on the attack. Although a defensive juggernaut, attack mode suited the Galanoleyki .
In today's match with the Czech Republic—a team with only one real scoring option in striker Milan Baros—the Greeks will need to score goals as they look to collect all three points.
The draw with Poland was huge, but a win here would be even bigger.
Russia looked dominant against the Czechs and will be a handful for a weakened Poland squad later today (they'll be without Szczesny in net) and the Greeks in the Group A finale.
Who Wins Today?
Greece has to assume a full-strength Poland squad should be able to take advantage of Czech's vulnerable defense, so they'll have to do that themselves today. A win will put the Greeks in the driver's seat for the runner-up spot in Group A going into a showdown with a Russia.
Anything less will leave them in a precarious situation.
Look for Salpingidis to be in the starting XI and expect the typically boring, defensive-minded Greeks to attack the net today.
They have no other choice.