Euro 2012: Russia Trounces Czech Republic; Poland-Greece Draw
Poland substitute goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton made a huge save, blocking Giorgos Karagounis' spot-kick in the 71st minute to hold Greece to a 1-1 draw Friday in the opening match of the European Championship 2012 at National Stadium.
Over at the Stadion Miejski in Wroclaw, Russia got two goals from Alan Dzagoev to beat Czech Republic, 4-1, in the other Group A match.
Tyton, who appeared in just one international friendly this year for Poland, entered the game after starting goalie Wojciech Szczesny was ejected for bringing down Dimitris Salpigidis in the 68th minute.
But he made the biggest play of the day and saved Poland from embarrassment. The host nation blew a one-goal lead and almost lost to a team that played with just ten men in the second half after Sokratis Papastathopoulos was ejected for a foul on Rafal Murawski in the 44th minute.
Poland impressed 56,070 home fans who packed the National Stadium with a dominant first half, highlighted by a goal from Robert Lewandowski in the 17th minute.
Lewandowski took advance of poor positioning of goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias to head home a cross from Jakub Blaszczykowski.
The Poles had a chance to add to their slim head before halftime but Rafal Murawski, Maciej Rybus and Lewandowski all missed clear-cut chances.
In the 51st minute, Dimitris Salpingidis tied the count with a close-range tap after Szczesny misjudged a right-wing cross by Vassilis Torosidits.
Meanwhile, the overwhelming win by the Russians have given them the No. 1 spot in Group A with three points while Greece and Poland have one point apiece.
Dzagoev scored the opening goal in the 15th with a fine kick into the bottom corner and Roman Shirokov made it 2-0 with a goal in the 24th minute.
Czech Republic cut the deficit in the 52nd minute with a goal from Vaclav Pilar, who scored from a fine pass from midfield.
Dzagoev scored his second goal in the 79th minute from an assist by Roman Pavlyuchenko to make it 3-1. Pavlyuchenko later scored the final goal in the 82nd minute.
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