Euro 2012: Greece deny Poland a winning start


Greece fought hard and denied Poland a winning start to EURO 2012 by coming from behind to clinch a 1-1 draw in the opening match in Warsaw.

Things were looking great for the home side at half time after scoring through Robert Lewandowski and also having a numerical advantage thanks to Sokratis Papastathopoulos's dismissal just before the interval. But Greece responded with a 51st-minute equaliser from substitute Dimitris Salpingidis and then came close to winning the match.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny brought down Salpingidis to earn himself a red card and give Greece a 71st-minute penalty. But Giorgos Karagounis failed to convert the spot kick reserve goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń dived and saved his effort.

Poland had the first chance of the game less than five minutes after the start but Rafał Murawski was denied by the Greece goalkeeper, Kostas Chalkias. Then Jakub Błaszczykowski drove a spectacular first-time shot over the crossbar.

Then Lewandowski nodded Poland in front in the 17th minute, with Błaszczykowski providing a deep cross over from the right and Chalkias missing the ball as he came out for it.

Poland might have got a second goal through Damien Perquis but his shot from inside the box went wide. Greece lost Papastathopoulos received a second yellow card after a collision with Murawski just before half time and Poland appeared in command.

But coach Santos replaced Sotiris Ninis with Salpingidis at half-time and the striker made an immediate impact with the equaliser six minutes later.

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