Poland vs Czech Republic and Greece vs Russia, Euro 2012: Open Thread

Poland vs Czech Republic: 2:45pm ET
Greece vs Russia: 2:45pm ET
TV schedule
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Programming alert for US viewers: ESPN will now show Poland against Czech Republic, while Russia vs Greece will be shown live on ESPN2.

Today marks the first day of the final matches in the opening group stages of Euro 2012. As you may have realized already, there’ll be two matches a day for the next few days — and the matches in each group will be played at the same time.

Before the tournament began, a lot of people shrugged at the prospect of watching Group A. But out of all of the groups, Group A has been one of the most fascinating ones to watch. We see Poland take on Czech Republic — whoever wins will qualify for the quarterfinal. And then we have Russia against Greece — whoever wins this one will also qualify for the quarterfinal. Therefore, expect all four teams to be playing out of their minds to get the crucial 3 points. Russia and Poland are favorites to qualify from this group, but I wouldn’t rule out Greece or Czech Republic.

Suffice to say, these matches will be wide-open, which should make for scintillating viewing.

Whoever finishes first in this group will play the second place team from Group B, which could end up being Portugal, Holland or Denmark. Meanwhile, whoever finishes in second place in Group A will face a quarterfinal opponent of the first place team in Group B — which looks like it’ll be Germany. There’s no easy ride whatever happens in the quarterfinals!

Before, during and after today’s matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

46 thoughts on “Poland vs Czech Republic and Greece vs Russia, Euro 2012: Open Thread”

    1. That is normal scheduling for this stage so that no team goes into a match already “knowing” what it has to do to advance.

      1. Specifically, look at this group. Any of the 4 teams may make it through, so both matches are vitally important to all 4 teams. You wouldn’t want the two matches split in time with the possibility of one or both of the teams knowing the outcome for them didn’t matter. Yes, they will know how the other match is going as they are playing, but they won’t know it before the match even starts, which would definitely effect effort and intensity.

  1. YES on the photo and Guy is dead on just like last day of EPL matches. hope Poland qualifies for the home fans.

      1. Guy
        that is a low blow but i will play along and revert back to my neanderthal brothers i will select the one on the left.i enjoy big wrist watches.

  2. its been like that for a while…they don’t want a repeat of 1982 where Austria and Germany literally kicked the ball around and played so they can both go through

  3. Which match is everyone watching?

    I’ve got both matches on ESPN3.com, but I’ve been watching more of the Russia one. Greece is going to be a hard team to score against in this match. Great defending in numbers. Greece could snag a goal on the counter attack in this one.

    The Gaffer

    1. And just after I wrote that, Greece scores! If the scores stay the same, Greece will go through.

      The Gaffer

  4. Be great for greece to go through, they could do with some form of united cause/solidarity with all the trouble they have right now. Yes football is that powerfull, it could be the one uniting force!

  5. The Russian no5 was terrible then he didn’t even chase the guy down after being nutmeged, Russia fans must be going mental right now.

    1. Because uega uses head to head instead of goal difference, it is stupid, no reward for scoring goals. The world cup is different. It does use gd. Stupid rule

      1. So can you explain me how will the netherland will qualify to the second if they win 2-0 against portugal and denmark lose 1-0 to germany knowing that they lost to denmark !

        1. Well, here it is, Jad:

          With 3 teams tied on total points the tie-break goes to “higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question”. Among just the three of them that would still leave them all tied with all three having one victory over one of the two others.

          Next tie-break is “superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question”. Again, just among the three of them (and given your scoring scenario) the Netherlands would finish with +1 GD, Denmark would finish with 0 and Portugal would finish with -1. Netherlands go through.

          Those are the rules.


  6. I second meow’s question…… How can Greece go through if they are equal in points to Russia and Russia have a +2 goal diff vs Greece 0 goal diff.????

    1. This was answered above, but I’ll repeat it. Greece beat Russia. UEFA uses head-to-head as the first tie-breaker. Therefore Greece goes through. Like it or not, GD does not matter in this instance. All the teams are aware of the tie-break rules.

  7. What do you think about Greece going through from Group A even though they were tied on points with Russia, and Russia had a better goal difference?

    Do you think head-to-head to decide tiebreakers is fair, or should goal difference be used?

    The Gaffer

    1. I am torn by this. I’m am certainly used to goal difference being the determiner, but if you’re Greece and Russia went through on GD you’d be saying, “But we beat them!”

      Everyone knew the rules ahead of time.

  8. never would have thought the Greeks would have made it to the QF the way they played the first half against Poland. Poland what a downer in front of their country and lay an egg/goose egg. Russians just be happy not the Soviet Union some players and manager might be off to the gulag very poor not to advance.

  9. happy for the greeks my favorite other nation. I have many friends there and love Athens and the islands. A goo bust for the people who are going through bad times.

  10. This was a big discussion at the end of the epl season with all the scenarios being played out, city could have won on gd, many people differed on the potential of winning on gd people saying a 1-0 win is as good ad a 4-1 win. Clearly it’s not, but uegaa disagree, he should be 1st tie breaker, whats the point in trying to score more goals otherwise.

  11. Poland were massively disappointing in this tournament, expected much more from them. The fact they couldn’t win a match at HOME against this opposition says it all. They had moments of brilliance but they never put together a complete performance, including against a 10-man Greece.

    Before the tournaments I thought they Czechs would be the weakest team in the tournament, obviously that title goes to Ireland now, but this is still a great achievement for the Czech Republic who are very much in a transitional phase. Young players like Pilar and Jiracek caught the eye, but they still rely on guys like Baros

  12. I am sad and stunned about Russia going out. But, they were the masters of their own demise. Too bad, they were a class above all other teams in the group, but football’s funny like that.

    The Czechs are awfully mediocre. I truly hope they get send home in the 14/ finals. I will be cheering against them with all my voice and heart in the 1/4 finals.

    If I am the German coach, I’d opt to play v. Czechs rather than the Greeks in the knockout stages.

  13. Its gonna be Greece Vs Germany in the QF. Could that be anymore significant given the current euro political and economical climate, you couldn’t write this stuff! what if the greeks win? Will this be taken as a sign they should reject the Austerity measures proposed by the German’s. Seriously, 2 critical moments between the 2 countries, one for in the political and financial arena’s with the greek peoples very future in the eurozone and the euro currency at stake, with its future being dictated by Germany. The 2nd the heart of the nation in their football team as they play for their immediate future in the tournament of Europe’s elite football competition. There is a lot on the line for both, is it possible that the sports result could influence the political and economical one? will the greeks allow themselves to be dictated to by germany on the field also?

  14. F Smuda was the first victim of Euro 2012 his contract will not be renewed. Can’t argue no wins in 3 home matches.

  15. Fair play to Greece.

    Russia seemingly thought the job was done after their first game. They should have beaten Poland comfortably and threw that away, resultantly putting excessive pressure on themselves for this game. Pressure they clearly crumbled under in comparison to the Greeks, who put in an excellent performance with the odds stacked up against them.

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