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EURO 2012: 17 June 2012: Open Thread

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Well, who would have guessed that Russia were going to be eliminated yesterday? Greece kicked off against the then group leaders in need of a miracle to progress, then low and behold...a miracle. After a tense first 45 minutes, Greek captain Giorgos Karagounis struck in first-half injury time to stun the Russians and the footballing world. Heading into the second-half, both the Czech Republic and Poland needed to win if they were to progress into the knockout stages, while Russia only needed a goal to salvage their pride.

Then it all changed once again as Petr Jiracek fired the Czechs into the lead against the co-hosts and as it stood, the Russians and the Poles were on their way out. While the Poles failed to muster anything of note, Russia responded by turning up the pressure but they just couldn’t find a way past the disciplined Greek defense. The withdrawal of Aleksandr Kerzhakov for Roman Pavlyuchenko proved to be a mistake and Andrei Arshavin has regressed back to his "Arsenal best". Alan Dzagoev (who else?) came closest to an equaliser with a terrific glancing header, but it just wasn’t to be.

With Group A officially out of the way, the focus turns to the Group of Death. Germany look as good as through, but we could have said the same about Russia yesterday, and Denmark are not to be underestimated. Then in the other match of the day we have Portugal facing Netherlands as both teams look to avoid an embarrassing first-round exit. If yesterday is anything to go by, we are in for a treat.

Group B:

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany 2 2 0 0 3 1 2 6
Portugal 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
Denmark 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
Netherlands 2 0 0 2 1 3 -2 0

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