Offshore drilling, Euro 2012: Poland 1, Greece 1

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source:  Man of the match: It was a curious halftime substitution, Greece bringing on a forward for somebody who could play midfield (after going a man down). Fernando Santos obviously knew his team well, because veteran Dimitris Salpingidis was the right move. In the 51st minute, Salpigidis poached an equalizer, and midway though the second, he won a penalty kick and red card, evening the numbers.

NBC Sports: Poland held by Greece as two sent off
As it happened: Monday’s action from Euro 2012’s opening night

Packaged for takeaway:

  • What a disappointing result for Poland. You come out, dominate the first half hour, and take a one goal lead into half time with a man advantage. Then not only do you fail to get full points, you’re lucky to get one after a penalty kick isn’t converted.
  • Experience is largely overrated (and overused, but commentators). Tonight, it really seemed to matter. Poland seemed naive in the second half, never working to put the game away when they had control. Greece, on the other hand, overcame their disadvantage and, by full time, were clearly the better side.
  • After the first half hour, it was clear Poland had three advantages, none of which they used in the second half:
    1. Greece couldn’t handle the right side of Poland’s attack. Robert Lewandowski would come back and play forward to Jakub Blaszczykowski and Lukasz Piszczek (all Borussia Dortmund players). The combination was almost never stopped and produced Poland’s only goal (a first half header from Lewandowski from a Kuba cross). In the second half, Poland only threw Piszczek forward once.
    2. Poland was dominant on set pieces in the first, but in the second, they never pressured the Greece defense enough to earn more opportunities.
    3. And twice in the first half, Poland had jailbreak counter attack chances. Greece played too deep in the second to concede any counters.
  • Aside from Przemyslaw Tyton’s penalty kick save (becoming the first substitute `keeper to save a kick in the tournament), the goalkeeping was terrible. Kostas Chalkias took himself out of position on Lewandowski’s opener, while a meek decision poorly executed left Wojciech Szcesny’s goal open for the equalizer. Szczesny also got himself sent off after he took down Salpingidis. Normally you’d saw Poland will miss him, but as bad as he was today (with little to do), they probably won’t.
  • As Gareth Southgate would later point out, Giorgios Karagounis had a ton of time to wait before the penalty kick. Tyton was allowed a lot of time to come on after Szczesny’s unexpected sending off.
  • It bares repeating: Poland abandoning the advantages they had down their right was ridiculous. The three best players on the field were Lewandowski, Blasczcykowski and Pisczcek, none of whom were a factor in the second.
  • Instead, Poland’s defense nearly gave away the game. Central defenders Damien Perquis and Marcin Wasilewski were continuously beaten by passes chipped over their head, while left back Sebastian Boensich kept Salpingidis onside on the play that saw Szczesny sent of.
  • Greece deserves a lot of credit, though. At halftime, I said Fernando Santos’s first priority needed to be keeping this a one goal game, the idea being Greece had little chance to advance should they leave the match with a -2 difference. Instead, Santos helped orchestrate an unexpected point.
  • But neither of these teams look like quarterfinal material. Group A is weak, but it’s not weak enough for the two teams we saw today to advance. Both teams need improved defenses before they take the field again on Tuesday. And it needs to be made clear to Poland’s players: They have to put in 90, not 30, minutes.
  • ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.

    Saudi Arabia vs Mexico: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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    Mexico needs a win to have hope of reaching the World Cup knockout rounds, while Saudi Arabia’s hopes of the final 16 may require the same at Stadium 974 in Doha on Wednesday.

    The Saudis stunned Argentina 2-1 In Lusail to open the tournament but could not repeat the feat against Poland at Education City in Al Rayyan on Saturday to leave themselves with three points through two matches.

    STREAM LIVE SAUDI ARABIA vs MEXICO

    Mexico remains without a win after their scoreless draw versus Poland led to a Lionel Messi-inspired loss to Argentina In Lusail.

    [ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

    Here is everything you need for Saudi Arabia vs Mexico.


    How to watch Saudi Arabia vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

    Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday Nov. 30
    Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
    TV channels en Español: Telemundo
    Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


    Key storylines, players to watch closely

    The Saudis have arguably been the most fun team at the tournament amongst non-powers, always running and getting exceptional goalkeeping. Salem Al-Dawsari was very good in both games but his missed penalty before halftime against Poland looms large of a match that could’ve been 1-1 going to the break and instead ended 2-0.

    Mexico has not scored at the tournament so far, and Raul Jimenez has only been used as a super sub. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega combined for just three shot attempts before being subbed out of the Poland loss, while Lozano and Henry Martin combined for two versus Poland (Vega attempted five). They need better up top to keep up their streak of making Round of 16 appearances at the World Cup.


    Saudi Arabia quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 51
    World Cup titles: 0
    World Cup appearances: 5
    How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
    Coach: Herve Renard
    Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

    Mexico quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 13
    World Cup titles: 0
    World Cup appearances: 16
    How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
    Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
    Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

    Poland vs Argentina: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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    Poland and Argentina surely didn’t plan to reach the marquee match of World Cup Group C with their knockout round status in doubt, but it’s been that kind of tournament in Qatar.

    Poland remains unbeaten in Qatar after beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in Al Rayyan, adding to the point it earned from a scoreless draw with Mexico In Doha to give it top billing in the group heading into Wednesday’s match.

    STREAM LIVE POLAND vs ARGENTINA

    Argentina, meanwhile, rebounded from a 2-1 tournament-opening loss to Saudi Arabia In Lusail to bear Mexico 2-0 behind a goal and an assist from Lionel Messi.

    Saudi Arabia’s three points means it can still advance with a win over Mexico, who itself can add to its one point. So everyone’s alive in Group C.

    [ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

    Here is everything you need for Poland vs Argentina.


    How to watch Poland vs Argentina live, stream link and start time

    Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday, Nov. 30
    Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
    TV channels en Español: Telemundo
    Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


    Key storylines, players to watch closely

    The storyline for every Argentina game this tournament from this point forward — and really since the lead-up to the Mexico match — is that any loss means the end of Lionel Messi’s World Cup career (at least according to the living legend). The Albiceleste would be thrilled to get something more out of Lautaro Martinez, while Paulo Dybala’s yet to make his tournament debut.

    Robert Lewandowski finally has a World Cup goal on his resume, while Piotr Zielinski has been very good for Poland. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sensational in the win over Saudi Arabia.


    Poland quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 26
    World Cup titles: 0
    World Cup appearances: 8
    How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
    Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz
    Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski

    Argentina quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 3
    World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
    World Cup appearances: 17
    How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
    Coach: Lionel Scaloni
    Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

    Portugal vs Uruguay: How to watch, live stream link, team news

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    Portugal looks to seal its fate in the World Cup Round of 16 by piling pressure on Uruguay when two titans of the sport meet in Lusail on Monday.

    Portugal outlasted Ghana 3-2 in Doha to open its tournament with a big win that featured a controversial penalty for Cristiano Ronaldo, while Uruguay staged a scoreless draw with South Korea.

    STREAM LIVE PORTUGAL vs URUGUAY

    It’s a group that never looked easy and is looking more and more like a “Group of Death” as the World Cup rolls through Qatar in its typically tense fashion this month and next.

    [ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

    Here is everything you need for Portugal vs Uruguay.


    How to watch Portugal vs Uruguay live, stream link and start time

    Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Nov. 28
    Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
    TV channels en Español: Telemundo
    Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


    Key storylines, players to watch closely

    Everyone’s going to keep looking at Cristiano Ronaldo — it’s difficult not to turn your head with all the “Look at me” nonsense — but Bruno Fernandes is the real string-puller here. He’s playing well with Ruben Neves, while Ruben Dias and the back line will look to tighten things up after letting Ghana stay in the game.

    Uruguay hero Luis Suarez has been here before, but his supporting cast is as good as ever. Rodrigo Betancur and Jose Maria Gimenez give La Celeste a chance at clean sheet every time they take the pitch.


    Portugal quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 9
    World Cup titles: 0
    World Cup appearances: 8
    How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
    Coach: Fernando Santos
    Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo

    Uruguay quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 14
    World Cup titles: 2 (1930, 1950)
    World Cup appearances: 14
    How they qualified: Qualified from CONMEBOL
    Coach: Diego Alonso
    Key players: Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Betancur

    Brazil vs Switzerland: How to watch, live stream link, team news

    Brazil vs Switzerland live
    Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
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    Opening match winners Brazil and Switzerland meet Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.

    FIFA world No. 1 Brazil broke through pesky Serbia for a 2-0 win In Lusail to start the tournament as Richarlison scored two goals — one a ridiculous bit of technique — to get the Brazilians off on the right (and left) foot.

    STREAM LIVE BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND

    Switzerland meanwhile used a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon to claim three points and set up Monday’s win-and-in match.

    [ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

    Can Neymar-less Brazil take the next step toward a sixth World Cup? Here is everything you need for Brazil vs Switzerland.


    How to watch Brazil vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

    Kick off: 11am ET, Monday Nov. 28
    Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
    TV channels en Español: Telemundo
    Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


    Key storylines, players to watch closely

    Brazil will not have Neymar for this one and likely the rest of the group stage as the oft-fouled magician felt the sting of Serbian tackles in the opener. The Brazilians have had to play without their captain before and have a wealth of attacking options, but who will join Richarlison in providing the goals in a Ney-less attack.

    The Swiss have all the tools to hang with Brazil, but how physical will they want to make it for the favorites? Granit Xhaka will be one to watch as the underdogs try to balance a desire to get forward with the danger of doing so against a potent Brazil.


    Brazil quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 1
    World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
    World Cup appearances: 22
    How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
    Coach: Tite
    Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

    Switzerland quick facts

    Current FIFA world ranking: 15
    World Cup titles: 0
    World Cup appearances: 12
    How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
    Coach: Murat Yakin
    Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler