UEFA Euro 2012: Polish press upbeat after Euro 2012 opener

Updated: 09 June 2012 16:35 IST

Poland's media on Saturday hailed "half a victory" after the national side drew 1-1 with Greece in the opening match of Euro 2012 but many feared the impressive form of next opponents and traditional foes Russia.

UEFA Euro 2012: Polish press upbeat after Euro 2012 opener
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Warsaw:

Poland's media on Saturday hailed "half a victory" after the national side drew 1-1 with Greece in the opening match of Euro 2012 but many feared the impressive form of next opponents and traditional foes Russia.

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"Half a victory," read the headline in the Gazeta Wyborcza daily, while the tabloid Super Express said on its front page: "Thanks, guys!"

Catholic newspaper Nasz Dziennik praised Franciszek Smuda's side for its performance at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Friday, assessing the draw was a good way to start the 16-team tournament that Poland is co-hosting with Ukraine.

"We experienced a thriller, which never happens during opening matches," said Gazeta Wyborcza, after a Robert Lewandowski header gave Poland the perfect start, a Greek equaliser and both teams having a man sent off.

Substitute goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, of Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, came on for Wojciech Szczesny after the Arsenal number one brought down Dimitris Salpingidis and was given a red card, and saved Giorgos Karagounis' spot kick with his first touch.

The Gazeta said the match was a "see-saw of crazy emotions: two red cards, a penalty save and a disallowed goal. These aren't typical of an opening match. Incredible. The footballing gods must be mad".

Nasz Dziennik added: "The match didn't disappoint. The red and whites (Poland) didn't either. In long passages of play, they played just as we hoped they would. In short, it was a worthy opener for the tournament."

The Fakt tabloid was alone in expressing disappointment.

"Only a draw," it said, warning gloomily: "That's not enough to beat Russia.

"The Russians quite simply put the Czechs to the sword," the newspaper added, after Dick Advocaat's men romped to a 4-1 win in the western Polish city of Wroclaw and shot to the top of Group A.

"They showed us a real festival of football. The Czechs didn't know how to respond to a phenomenal Russia attack. (Andriy) Arshavin, (Alan) Dzagoev, (Roman) Pavlyuchenko, Smuda will have to come up with something to stop them."

Rzeczpospolita assessed that the tournament could go down as one of the best in history -- if the standard and excitement of Friday continued.

Euro 2012 has been hit by concerns over its organisation, after delays and cost overruns in key infrastructure projects and fears about sky-high accommodation costs, particuarly in ex-Soviet Ukraine.

But there were no apparent hitches for the opening matches, nor for the opening ceremony in the newly-built 50,000-seater National Stadium in Warsaw.

"We've passed our first test in Euro 2012," Rzeczpospolita assessed, the morning after a lively night of partying on Warsaw's streets.

"Sporting emotion, colours and good humour have invaded the city," it added.

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