Czech Republic 2, Greece 1: After being overwhelmed by Russia in the opener, the Czechs score twice in the first six minutes through Petr Jiracek and Pilar (his second of the tournament). Neither team is great, but the Czechs have Tomas Rosicky, which was good enough to get them the win. Greece’s consolation came through Theofanis Gekas, thanks in a large part to another mistake from Petr Cech, who is not having a great tournament for the Cech Republic. The Czechs can advance to the next round with a draw against Poland coupled with Greece failing to beat Russia in the final group match. Greece’s only hope of advancing lies in beating Russia and hoping the Czech and Poles draw.
Russia 1, Poland 1: Poland captain Kuba rescues his team with a great goal after Alan Dzagoev had scored his tournament-high third goal in the first half. Poland could have won – Russia offered very little in the second half. This match came amid riots and marching outside the stadium for Russia Day. Apparently these two nations don’t like each other. Who knew? The only way Russia wouldn’t advance is if they lost to Greece and Poland beat the Czechs. Any other result would still see them go through. Poland will advance with a win next week. I’ll go over this again in a bit just to make sure you get it.
Group A standings
1. Russia 1-1-0, 4 pts, 5 goals scored, 2 goals against
2. Czech Republic 1-0-1, 3 pts, 3 gs, 5 ga
3. Poland 0-2-0, 2 pts, 2 gs, 2 ga
4. Greece 0-1-1, 1 pt, 2 gs, 3 ga
Russia qualifies for the second round with a win or draw, or a draw between the Czech Republic and Poland.
The Czech Republic advances with a win, or they must draw and Russia must win or draw against Greece.
Poland advances with a win.
Greece advances with a win and a draw between the Czechs and Poland.
Next Match Day: June 16
1. Croatia (1-0-0, 3 pts). Up next: Italy, June 14
2. Ukraine (1-0-0, 3 pts). Up next: France, June 15
3. Russia (1-1-0, 4 pts). Drew 1-1 with Poland. After a rip-roaring win against the Czech Republic, Russia started strong, then labored to get a point against Poland. They’re still odds-on to advance, but could be knocked out. Up next: Greece, June 16
4. Denmark (1-0-0, 3 pts). Up next: Portugal, June 13
5. Germany (1-0-0, 3 pts). Up next: Netherlands, June 13
6. Czech Republic (1-0-1, 3 pts). Beat Greece 2-1. A few changes and the Czechs rallied impressively against Greece. They look like a really bad side without Tomas Rosicky playing, though. (He sat out the second half.) Up next: Poland, June 16
7. Italy (0-1-0, 1 pt). Up next: Croatia, June 14
8. Spain (0-1-0, 1 pt). Up next: Ireland, June 14
9. France (0-1-0, 1 pt). Up next: Ukraine, June 15
10. England (0-1-0 1 pt). Up next: Sweden, June 15
11. Poland (0-2-0, 2 pts). Drew 1-1 with Russia. Poland will be disappointed to only emerge from their match with Russia with a point, but they at least have their fate in their own hands against a mediocre Czech team. Can they put in a full 90 minutes of good play? Up next: Czech Republic, June 16
12. Portugal (0-0-1, 0 pts). Lost 1-0 to Germany. Up next: Denmark, June 13
13. Netherlands (0-0-1, 0 pts). Lost 1-0 to Denmark. Up next: Germany, June 13
14. Sweden (0-0-1, 0 pts). Up next: England, June 15
15. Greece (0-1-1, 1 pt). Lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic. After another second-half fell short, Greece are left in a situation where they could conceivably win their last match against Russia and not qualify. But they don’t even look good enough to win. Up next: Russia, June 16
16. Ireland (0-0-1, 0 pts). Up next: Spain, June 14
Player of the Day: Theodor Gebrie-Selassie, Czech Republic. The Czech right back was the best player on the pitch against Greece, delivering the cross for the second (and ultimately, winning) goal. He will probably have some new teams trying to sign him after this tournament.
Disappointment of the day: Andrei Arshavin, Russia. Sure, he might not be completely match-fit, and Russia will still probably advance to the second round. But Arshavin’s performance was very reminiscent of his struggles in an Arsenal uniform the last couple years.
Goal of the day: Kuba, Poland
Player of the Tournament So Far Rankings
1. Andrei Shevchenko, Ukraine
2. Alan Dzagoev, Russia
3. Michael Krohn-Dehli, Denmark
4. Mario Mandzukic, Croatia
5. Tomas Rosicky, Czech Republic