Euro 2012 Group A: Czech Republic and Greece Advance
Well, that was weird. Based on each team’s first two games in Group A, I felt certain that Russia had the firepower to beat Greece — Dzagoev was fantastic in those games, and it seemed like Kerzhakov would FINALLY be able to connect on one of his many shots. But Greece squeaked out a 1-0 win, and they’re advancing on the strength of that plus the opening 1-1 tie against Poland, which was perhaps the most bizarre game of the tournament based on the yellow cards and double yellow card and subbing Papadopoulus for Papadopoulus. I felt like the Czechs would advance before the tournament started, but then they lost 4-1 to Russia in the opener, with a back four that did not look ready for prime time. But the Czechs only allowed one goal in their remaining two group games, and that came on a rare Petr Cech blunder. Poland had enticing chances throughout the match, including a crazy final thirty-second sequence which included a shot pinging off the post, but their failure to score left them at the bottom of the group, and particularly disappointing to the home fans.