Update: Poland 1-1 Greece, Final Score
The 2012 European Championships are here! Unfortunately, only one team appears to have showed up for the opening game. Host nation Poland hold a 1-0 lead against Greece after 45 minutes of play, and they've been by far the better side throughout the match. They've had most of the ball and almost all of the chances at the National Stadium in Warsaw, and Greece's notorious defence has... well, not done any defending.
The fifth minute saw the first chance of the game when Robert Lewandowski laid the ball back for Ludovic Obraniak at close range, only for the Bordeaux man to see his shot ricochet off a defender. Kostas Chalkias was forced to tip over from the rebound as Rafal Murawski attempted to smash home from range. The chance was created by Jakub Blaszczykowski working down the Poland right, where the home side had a major advantage on the visitors.
Greece didn't learn, and minutes later they were ripped apart down that flank again. Obraniak moved over to help Lukasz Piszczek burst into the penalty area, and the right back's fizzed cross across the face of the goal missed his club teammate Lewandoski by a matter of inches - the supposed Manchester United target probably could have done better with that.
No matter for the Poles, however. Lewandoski would only need a few minutes more to open the scoring, nodding home unmarked from another cross from Piszczek. It was a good run, a good cross and a superb header, but Greece's defending was nothing short of baffling. With both Lewandowski and Obraniak in the box, they managed to mark neither.
Part of the poor defending on Greece's part might have been down to a knee injury sustained by centre half Avraam Papadopoulos. The 27-year-old tried to carry on through the pain, but ended up getting pulled off in the 36th minute for Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos 2.0's first involvement was to completely lose Damien Perquis on a free kick, and the visitors were rather fortunate that the Poland defender blasted wide from twelve yards.
Basically, the only good thing about Greece's play in the first forty minutes has been a barely-missed header from Theofanis Gekas from a set piece while the score was still 0-0. They did look a little more lively going forward as the half drew to a close, but did nothing that would particularly trouble Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland goal.
A comeback didn't look on in the first place and Greece's task became much, much harder after they lost Sokratis Papastathopoulos to a second yellow card int he 43rd minute. It's not entirely clear why his fouls (an aerial challenge against Lewandowski and then a block on a falling Murawski) were worthy of one combined yellow, let alone two, and Greece were furious with the decision.
They were even more furious shortly thereafter when they were denied a penalty after Perquis fell in the Poland penalty area with his hand making obvious contact with the ball, only to be denied a spot kick by Carlos Velasco Carballo (and see several players booked for protesting). Everything's going horribly wrong for Greece - not that the home fans will mind too much - but their play does warrant the scoreline. They were both awful and unfortunate, with Poland looking very assured so far.