EURO 2012 LIVE: Poland v Greece – follow the opening game from Warsaw as it happens
16:48 GMT, 8 June 2012
The long wait is over as Euro 2012 kicks into action when Poland play Greece in the tournament's opening game in Warsaw. Follow Sportsmail's live coverage of all the action as the 2004 winners attempt to spoil the party for the joint hosts in Group A. Send me your thoughts on the opening game here at email@example.com or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.
Poland 1-0 Greece (5pm)
Click here for the live goals as they go in
Poland: Szczesny, Piszczek,
Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch, Murawski, Polanski, Blaszczykowski,
Obraniak, Rybus, Lewandowski.
Subs: Sandomierski, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski,
Dudka, Matuszczyk, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki,
Goals: Lewandoswki 17.
Greece: Chalkias, Torosidis,
Papastathopoulos, Avraam Papadopoulos (Kyriakos Papadopoulos 37), Holebas, Maniatis, Katsouranis,
Karagounis, Ninis, Gekas, Samaras.
Subs: Tzorvas, Tzavelas, Malezas,
Makos, Liberopoulos, Mitroglou, Salpingidis,
Fotakis, Fortounis, Fetfatzidis, Sifakis.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
45min: It's the first red card of the tournament but one of the harshest I have ever seen.
Papastathopoulos concedes another small foul by just putting too much pressure on Murawski, but picks up his second harsh booking and is sent off. Greece cannot believe it and frankly neither can I.
44min: RED CARD (Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Greece)
41min: The Poles have had the best chances but Greece are increasingly looking more composed on the ball. Creating chances seems a long way off though – Szczesny has been a bystander.
38min: And he has been caught cold already! The replacement clears poorly straight to Damien Perquis inside the box, but with the goal at his mercy the Pole fires wide – poor effort.
37min: Papadopoulos tried to run off his injury but it hasn't happened for him and he has been replaced by Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
36min: A harsh first yellow card of the tournament goes to Sokratis Papastathopoulos who is booked for using his arm as leverage when challenging an aerial ball with Lewandoswki. A foul yes. A booking Not for me.
34min: Counter-attacks aside, Poland are struggling to get forward now. They have little to worry about defensively though, Greece are not creating much and their set-pieces have been poor too.
32min: This doesn't look like the side that outsmarted Croatia in the qualifiers. Greece to their credit are attempting to go forward but they are really struggling to keep the ball – it makes England's ball possession look like 'tika-taka'.
29min: Better from Greece as they win a free-kick on the very edge of the box on the right side – but the set-piece is easily headed away by Poland.
26min: Greece are still holding on but their service to the strikers has been woeful so far. We have seen nothing from Giorgas Samaras with the Greeks lacking ambition on the ball.
23min: The Poles are playing with much more confidence now, that goal has really relaxed them. Greece can't get the ball but Papadopoulos is back on.
20min: It's getting worse for Greece. Avraam Papadopoulos is receiving treatment on a leg injury off the pitch. It doesn't look good for him.
Heads I win: Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring with an opportunistic header for Poland
17min: GOAL! POLAND 1-0 Greece
It's been coming but this is terrible goalkeeping. Chalkis races from his line to cut out a cross but he gets nowhere near the ball and allows Robert Lewandowski to head into the corner of the net. The Greeks will have to attack now.
15min: Oh what a chance! Lukasz Piszcek finds space on the right inside the box, but failing to decide whether to cross for Lewandoswki or shoot, he does neither and scuffs a ball across goal for nobody. Poland on top.
14min: Another half-chance for the hosts. Poland break down the right but a cross into the box is directed over by Jakub Blaszczykowski.
11min: The organised Greeks seem to be playing for set-pieces, as they take their time with a free-kick 40 yards out to the right this time.
Giorgas Karagounis delivers a long ball into the box and although Fanis Gekas manages to connect with it, he can only nod wide of the target.
8min: Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny hasn't touched the ball yet, with Poland starting much the stronger.
That goal-mouth action a few minutes back is the only real high note so far though.
5min: Poland are first to threaten. After a snap-shot is blocked, Rafal Murawski strikes form the edge of the box but Kostas Chalkis manages to tip the effort (which is straight at him) over the bar.
4min: From OptaJoe:
1 – Greece have only won one of nine group matches at European Championship finals. Spartan.
3min: Slow start to the game as Greece win a free-kick on the left 40 yards out. The cross in though is cleared by Robert Lewandowski.
Getting shirty: Greece's Sokratis Papastathopoulos challenges Poland's Robert Lewandoswki
Kick-off: Greece get Euro 2012 up and running.
16.55: Out come the teams, I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here. Who remembers when Greece entertained the hots nation in 2004 on the opening day We all know how that tournament ended.
16.52: The teams are in the tunnel, one thing that isn't the lacking is the home support. They are making a huge amount of noise. Will Poland thrive or freeze on the big occasion though.
Impressive: The opening ceremony was basic but entertaining
16.49: As everyone comes together to form the Euro 2012 logo, the ceremony comes to and end and in truth it was enjoyable enough. Time to quickly clear the pitch – the teams are on in just over five minutes time.
16.46: Some Euro-techno takes over now as the dancers continually to impressively strut their stuff.
It all looks basic but it looks better than being overdone as was the case in South Africa two years ago.
16.43: The opening ceremony is under way, I always think the bar was set at USA 94 when Diana Ross missed a penalty – plenty of dancing and piano playing so far but not much else.
16.40: Poland meanwhile are the lowest ranked side in the world going into this competition at 62nd – but home advantage is going to be behind them.
To underline just how competitive this tournament is, Poland will not be seen as cannon fodder.
Sealed with a kiss: Polish supporters show their support while the Euro 2012 mascots pose in front of Greece fans
16.35: From InfostradaLive:
Greece have lost only once in 21 international matches under coach Fernando Santos. He started his Greek managerial career with an unbeaten run of 17 matches (W10-D7-L0), a national record. In total he is now on a 11W-9D-1L record with Greece. That only defeat came against Romania in a friendly last November (1-3).
16.30: The Greeks came top of their qualifying group ahead of Croatia, and with an experienced and tight-knit squad will aim to shine without the attention of being the holders – something that weighed them down at Euro 2008.
16.27: This game pits two sides who failed to win a game at Euro 2008, but Greece especially looked good during qualifying under Fernando Santos's watch – they haven't lost a competitive match under him.
Flying the flag: Poland and Greece fans show their support
16.24: The head-to-heads clearly favour Poland. Greece have never beaten the co-hosts in six attempts.
Interestingly, Poland defeated Greece 1-0 just days before the Greeks stunned everyone to win Euro 2004 – less interestingly the last meeting in March 2011 ended 0-0 – none of the latter tonight please.
16.21: Sportsmail's Ian Ladyman:
Poland players take to the field in Warsaw. Red and white everywhere. Heaven knows why the roof is closed. #euro2012
16.19: From InfostradaLive:
Jens Lehmann and Ivica Vastic are the only players to debut at a ECh at an older age than Chalkias but both had played at WCs.
16.16: So let's focus on our opening game, which to be honest isn't the most appetising I have ever seen.
But let's give it a chance, South Africa v Mexico wasn't billed to be a classic but it was one of the better games at the 2010 World Cup (I know that doesn't say much considering the dire tournament that turned out to be.)
Ready to go: Poland fans arrived early for their opening game with Greece
16.13: No time to waste though as the team news from our opening game between Poland and Greece is in:
Poland v Greece
Poland: Szczesny, Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch, Murawski, Polanski, Blaszczykowski, Obraniak, Rybus, Lewandowski. Subs: Sandomierski, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski, Dudka, Matuszczyk, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki, Brozek, Tyton.
Greece: Chalkias, Torosidis, Papastathopoulos, Avraam Papadopoulos, Holebas, Maniatis, Katsouranis, Karagounis, Ninis, Gekas, Samaras. Subs: Tzorvas, Tzavelas, Malezas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Makos, Liberopoulos, Mitroglou, Salpingidis, Fotakis, Fortounis, Fetfatzidis, Sifakis.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
16.10: For the football fan at least, the European Championship is the biggest sporting event of the summer. Only the World Cup holds more importance but with so many strong sides saturated in this competition there is no where to hide at the Euros.
So as we prepare to witness 15 of the strongest teams from the continent and England* do battle, let me welcome you to Sportsmail's live coverage of the Euro 2012.
*(Just joking folks, COME ON ENGLAND!)
Red alert: Poland warmed up for the tournament with friendly wins over Latvia, Slovakia and Andorra