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Shock finale in Group A: How it happened


Shock finale in Group A: How it happened


The results from the last Group A matches created the first surprise exit of the competition.

In the match between Poland and Czech Republic neither side seemed to dominate or be likely to score, the game remaining goalless until 20 minutes from full time. In the 72nd minute the Czech Republic caught Poland on the break and found them extremely exposed at the back. Milan Baros dribbled the ball forward before passing across to Petr Jiracek just outside the box. With a quick turn he hit it past Polish keeper Przemyslaw Tyton, shattering Polish dreams and securing his team’s place in the final eight.

But the huge shock of the competition so far came from the other Group A match. Despite dominating possession, passing more accurately and having the vast majority of attempts on goal Russia simply failed to score. Greece were happy to soak up the pressure and try to catch Russia on the counter attack.

In the end the goal came following a throw-in in first half injury time. Veteran Greek Captain Giorgos Karagounis exploited a hole in the Russian defence sending a thundering strike to the back of the net, knocking out one of the favourites for the competition and sending Greece through.

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