Euro 2012, Group A: Remains Wide Open

Aristotle KikisContributor IIIJune 12, 2012

This Photo Must Be Cropped
This Photo Must Be CroppedChristof Koepsel/Getty Images

With two group matches complete by each team, Group A remains wide open to advance for advancement to the quarterfinals and knock-out stage.

The first game started with Greece facing off against the Czech Republic today.

It deemed to be history in the making. It was back in 2004 when the Czechs were heavy favorites in the tournament, and the Greeks shut them down and shocked the world being crowned European Champions.

The Czechs were looking for revenge and did so with not only a win, but by scoring the fastest goal in the history of Euro Cup play. Petr Jitacek found the back of the net in less than three minutes of play and the Czechs added a second goal to take a commanding 2-0 lead while fans were still looking to find their seats.

Greece managed to score a Fani Gekas goal on a rare Petr Cech mistake, but failed to equalize, losing by a 2-1 margin.

In the later Group A game, host nation Poland squared off with Group A leader Russia.

Russia was coming off a convincing 4-1 win against the Czech Republic while Poland knotted up with Greece in the tournament opener.

Poland looked sharp early and had their fair share of chances, but it was Alan Dzagoev and his tournament-leading third goal that struck first for Russia. Poland then equalized in the second half with a left-footed rocket by Jakub Blaszcykowski. The game finished in a 1-1 draw.

As the Czechs moved up in the standings and moved a step closer to the quarters, the Greeks hurt their chances but are still alive.

Poland is still in the hunt while Russia is in the driver’s seat.

It will be an interesting Saturday when all four teams will be playing in must-win games.


Advancing to the quarter-finals will not be easy for any of the four teams, but here is how they can advance.

Russia advances with a win or tie against Greece, or with a Poland loss or tie.

Czech Republic advances with a win or tie against Poland, and a Greece loss.

Poland advances with a win.

Greece advances with a win against Russia and a Poland or Czech Republic win or tie.

In the case that any two teams in question are still tied, the first tiebreaker goes to the team with higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question