Poland backup goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton was one of the longer shots to be considered a hero at any point during Euro 2012. After one match, he's a household name across Europe.
Tyton entered for red-carded Arsenal goalkeeper Wojiech Szczesny and immediately stopped a Giorgios Karagounis penalty kick in the 71st minute to preserve a 1-1 draw for Poland against Greece in a wild opening match of the tournament.
Robert Lewandowski had given the hosts the early lead after connecting for a header off a cross from Borussia Dortmund teammate Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 17th minute, and Poland threatened for the remainder of the first half as a raucous crowd in Warsaw cheered on. After Greece controversially had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off for two yellow cards prior to halftime it seemed to be a long night for the 2004 European champions, but Dimitris Salpingidis rescued the Greeks by finishing into an open net after a misplay in the Poland box to level the score in the 51st minute.
Salpingidis had a would-be second goal overruled by a tight offside call late in the second half as well, as both 10-man teams settled for a point.
In the other Group A match:
RUSSIA 4, CZECH REPUBLIC 1
Alan Dzagoev was thought to be one of the top young players expected to arrive on the international stage in this tournament. After one match, the 21-year-old CSKA Moscow attacker has announced his arrival with authority.
Dzagoev scored two goals to lead an impressive Russia side to a victory over the Czech Republic and an early lead in Group A. Dzagoev opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Alexander Kerzhakov's chance hit the post and ricocheted right to Dzagoev in the center of the box. Roman Shirokov doubled the lead 24 minutes later, as the Czech Republic back line wobbled through the opening 45 minutes.
Vaclav Pilar gave the Czech Republic a brief lifeline, slicing the deficit in half in the 52nd minute, but Dzagoev scored his second goal with a power finish inside the area to restore the two-goal lead.
Roman Pavlyuchenko finished off the Czechs with a superb individual effort inside the area, shaking a defender and clinically finishing to the near post from the top of the box to cap the rout.
GROUP A STANDINGS
1. Russia (3 points, 1-0-0, +3 GD)
2. Poland (1 point, 0-0-1, 0 GD)
3. Greece (1 point, 0-0-1, 0 GD)
4. Czech Republic (0 points, 0-1-0, -3 GD)
What did you think of the opening matches of Euro 2012? Think Russia is a contender for a deep run? Think that Poland and/or Greece should be disappointed with their result?
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