Greece, contrary to its defensive pigeonhole, played an expansive brand of football in its tournament opener. At the centre of the field Giannis Maniatis and Giorgios Karagounis tried to hold on to the ball, interchanging places to put more thrust in its attacks. However, the passing of the 2004 champion left a lot to be desired and a static forward line with wide players Sotiris Ninis and Gerorgio Samaras playing too upfront didn't help its cause. In the first half, Samaras' reluctance to drop deep helped the Borussia Dortmund trio of Lukasz Piszczek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski operating relatively freely down the right flank. The three combined well to open up the scoring for the host in the 17th minute.
Ten-man Greece did partially better in the second session as Samaras decided to take more workload and but still Greece didn't play well as a unit and there were always enough gaps on its half of the pitch for the counter-attacking Poles to exploit. The match failed to reach any great heights, though end-to-end action made it an exciting affair to watch.
Keywords: Euro 2012