No one looked at group A after monday’s games and thought the Czech Republic and Greece were likely to advance.
Then, fate twisted and turned in the most unlikely of ways, and it seemed that the group had turned on its head entirely.
Coming in to the final matches of the Group, Russia stood, top of the table, undefeated with a 4-1 win against the Czech Republic and a 1-1 tie against hosts Poland behind them, Russia was seemingly going to cruise into the quarterfinals. All they needed from the Group A cellar-dweller Greece was a draw, and Russia would advance.
Russia would have plenty of trouble with the Greeks, despite dominating the game. Chances and chances kept coming for the Russians, but they failed to put very much on frame. One small defensive mistake allowed the Greeks in on goal, and they took their chance, and it was 1-0 to Greece going into halftime, despite Russia’s total control over the game. The Greeks came into the game knowing they’d need 3 points in order to advance.
The Czech Republic were in pretty decent condition to advance coming into their match against Poland. After an embarrassing 4-1 decision at the hands of Russia, the Czechs managed to climb to 2nd by beating Greece 2-1. The Czech Republic managed to dispatch hosts Poland 1-0 to see themselves at the top of Group A.
Greece rode its luck and great defending to the very end, as Russia was unable to find a goal and Greece won 1-0. That put Greece and Russia at 4 points, with the Czech Republic at 6 and Poland at 2. Greece advanced over Russia based on the Euro tiebreak system, which is based on head to head.
Promising performances from Alan Dzagoev in the first two games had Russian fans dreaming of seeing their team make a great run. A few costly mistakes really hurt Russia though, and they will be headed home after a very disappointing Euro Campaign.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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