Saturday, June 14, 2008

Euro 2008 Liveblog: Greece v. Russia

Welcome all to the Greece v. Russia liveblog. In anticipation of a snoozer, I present to you (as always), the models:

Grecian model Aleka Kamila: May or may not be wearing panties.

Russian model Natalia Vodianova: Looks angry.

Once again, join me after the jump for the liveblog.

The Greece starting XI for coach Otto Rehhagel:

GK - Nikopolidis
DEF - Seitaridis (2); Patsatzoglou (3); Dellas (5); Torosidis (15); Kyrgiakos (16)
MID - Basinas (6)(C); Katsouranis (21)
ST - Charisteas (9); Amanatidis (20); Liberopoulos (23)

The Russian starting XI for coach Guus Hiddink:

GK - Akinfeev
DEF - Ignashevich (4); Kolodin (8); Anyukov (22)
MID - Torbinski (8); Semak (11); Bilyaletdinov (15); Zyryanov (17); Zhirkov (18); Semshov (20)
ST - Pavlyuchenko (19)

This match is being played at EM Stadion Wals-Siezenheim (Bless You!) in Salzburg. The officiating crew is:

Centre official: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)
Assistant referees: Allesandro Griselli (ITA); Paolo Calcagno (ITA)
4th official: Olegario Benquerenca (POR)

Programming note: Due to the fact that the Greeks and the Russians all have crazy names, I will most likely be referring to kit numbers (rather than names) during the action. If you don't like it, kiss my arse.

Last time out, Russia lost 4-1 to Spain thanks to the magic boot of David Villa, while Greece lost 2-0 to Sweden. Given the result of today's earlier match, a win for either side here ties them for second place on 3 points.

Programming note: If this game is a nil-nil snoozer at half-time, this liveblog will be handed over to Precious Roy for some interesting notes on product development and management. You've been warned.

00:01 - And we're off!

00:02 - Anyone bored yet? Assholes. Sure, I get the crappy game - I blame The Fan's Attic, Freemasons, and the Pentaverate.

00:30 - Poor touch from the Russians leads to an early chance for Greece, but Akinfeev is out quickly.

01:30 - Free kick for the Russians after Zhirkov is taken down by Dellas. The result is a ball played in and cleared by the Greeks.

02:42 - Nikolopidis stops using his Grecian Hair Formula for Men long enough to pick up a weak shot from the Russians. His hair stays gray.

03:50 - Sloppy play at the back from the Greeks, but they eventually clear the ball. This game is a volleyball match so far, with play taking place in the middle third of the pitch.

05:50 - Amanatidis gets a boot to the head, and the resulting free kick gets played wide to Torosidis, whose shot is directly at Akinfeev.

07:40 - Long ball over the top for the Greeks, and Akinfeev doesn't come out for it, forcing his defender to play it out for a throw-in. The throw comes in and Semak attempts a bicycle kick to clear. Liberopoulos is unfairly called for fouling Semak and the Russians clear it.

10:45 - Shot from Bilyaletdinov, but it goes high over the bar.

12:11 - After 30 seconds of more volleyball, the ball is sent over the touchline. This is truly ugly footy.

12:58 - Seitaridis gets beautiful through-ball to the corner, but his attempted cross falls right into the hands of Akinfeev. The Russians respond by building through the midfield, resulting in a shot from Pavlyuchenko and a good save from Nikopolidis.

14:00 - The corner kick comes in and Zhirkov gets off a nice half-volley that curls wide left.

15:45 - Liberopoulos goes down in the box after a tug on the shirt, but nothing is given. The ball comes down the other hand and the Russian shot caroms off Dellas, but the linesman had already called for offsides.

17:47 - The ball is played through to Zhirkov, who taps it back to Torbinski but Basinas plays it out for the Greeks.

19:40 - Free kick for the Greeks from 35 yards out, and the ball is played into the box. Charisteas is right there but fails to put it in the net. The second corner comes back out to near midfield and is eventually played out for a Russian throw.

22:50 - A long ball to Charisteas is played to Patsatzoglou, who turns it back to Charisteas. A poor shot results, going over the bar.

25:10 - The Greeks are definitely getting the better of the ball possession at this point, playing passes mostly through the middle with occasional forays into the box.

They just showed a Greek fan wearing a sleeveless denim jacket. This may explain much about the state of their country.

29:20 - A dangerous ball in from Zhirkov comes back out to the Russians at the 18, but the ensuing shot is directly at Nikopolidis.

30:10 - A long-range shot from Patsatzoglou is directly Akinfeev. Neither keeper has had too much work so far.

32:40 - GOAL! Russia 1 - Greece 0. A ridiculous mistake from Nikopolidis. The Russians play the ball around the left end of the pitch, eventually sending a ball over the keeper's head toward the endline. Nikopolidis comes out too far to get it and Semak keeps the ball in bounds, sending it back towards the middle to be slotted home into the open net by Zyryanov.

34:00 - Russian send forward another attack and should have a second goal, but it bounces down and then up over the bar.

36:00 - After a quick save by Akinfeev, the Russians attack again, winning a corner. The ball is played in to the 6 and flies across the middle of the pitch for a second corner.

37:25 - The ball from the second corner is played out to midfield by the Greeks, but the Russians send it right back in. After some play around 20 yards, they get off a shot that rises above the bar.

39:00 - Seitaridis off, Karagounis (#10) on for Greece.

41:00 - Free kick for Greece after Semak dispossesses Karagounis. Absolutely no foul there, but the resulting ball is played in directly to the Russian defense. Ball don't lie.

41:51 - Yellow card for Karagounis for his tackel on Semshov. That's some karma. The free kick for the Russians is played in to the middle to build, but the ball goes out for a Greek throw-in.

42:50 - Free kick for the Greeks as Torbinski slides into Charisteas. The ball is played up the side, and eventually out by the Russians for a throw-in. The ball comes in to the box and Liberopoulos attempts a bicycle, which winds up in a corner.

44:19 - The Greek corner is played in to the box and comes back out to Karagounis. The ball played back in is null and void, as there was a Greek player offside.

45:00 (+01:05) - HALF-TIME.

Despite the bulk of the possession, the Greeks find themselves down 1-0 to the Russians thanks to some shambolic goal-keeping.

45:00 - And the Greeks have 45 minutes left to defend their crown.

45:30 - Off a free kick, Karagounis plays the ball through to Charisteas. DEspite being wide open, he turns and puts it directly at Akinfeev.

46:10 - The Russians come down to the other hand and Pavlyuchenko strikes a ball on the ground that Nikopolidis gobbles up.

47:00 - While a Greek defender is on the ground, writhing in agony, Pavlyuchenko strikes a ball from a difficult angle at Nikopolidis. The corner comes in and bounces off a Greek defender. The second corner is headed over the bar.

48:53 - Free kick for Greece as Karagounis is fouled by Zyryanov. The ball is played in from 35 yards by Basinas, but Amanatidis is unable to get a foot on it.

- Long ball through to a Greek forward, but he was offside and came back for it. The ARs have done a good job on offsides calls in this game.

51:58 - Pavlyuchenko makes a nice run, but strikes a shot just wide of the Greek goal rather than passing.

52:30 - The Greeks respond with a run from Karagounis, forcing Akinfeev into a nice save. The ball comes back and results in another save for a corner. The ball comes out to Karagounis, but the Greeks get shite out of it.

54:30 - The Greeks put some pressure in the 6-yard box, but Basinas puts it over the bar.

55:40 - Free kick for the Russians as Torobinski was fouled. The ball is played short and winds up in the box, where Bilyaletdinov goes down like he'd been shot by Karagounis. Nothing doing, and the Greeks play it out.

56:40 - The Russians pressure again, and Pavlyuchenko lays it off for Bilyaletdinov, who puts it just wide.

57:20 - Yellow card for Liberopoulos for dissent after a foul was called against him.

59:50 - Liberopoulos off, Gekas (#17) on for Greece.

60:30 - Pavlyuchenko makes a nice run, but fails to pass the ball off to the right to Zyryanov, who was wide open.

61:24 - Corner kick from the Russians goes directly to the defense, and the Greeks play it out.

62:40 - The Greeks get away with one. The ball is played in by Anyukov, and is pushed out by Nikopolidis. The Greeks fail to deal with it, and Bilyatedinov takes a shot that goes off a defender. The resulting corner yields nothing.

66:17 - The whistles from the crowd are getting louder, as the Greeks spend 3 minutes moving the ball with no positive result.

67:20 - A long ball in from Patsatzoglou results in a punch out from Akinfeev, leading to a corner. The ball is played in and headed down by Charisteas, but Akinfeev takes it.

69:00 - Bilyaletdinov off, Saenko (#9) on for Russia.

70:30 - A long ball through for Charisteas is laid off for Gekas. The ball is cleared, but only to Karagounis, who strikes a shot just left of the post.

72:02 - A long ball for the Russians is played to Pavlyuchenko, who takes a shot from 40 yards out which rises above the bar.

73:30 - After a nice spell of passing, the Russians play it over the touchline as Zhirkov is down injured after Dellas gave him a bit of the business.

75:00 - Free kick for the Russians as Basinas takes down Zyryanov at 20 yards. Looked like a legitimate tackle, but the foul is awarded. The resulting ball is shot directly into the wall.

76:17 - Yellow card for Saenko after an American football tackle on Karagounis after the ball came off the Greek defenders.

78:27 - Free kick for Greece is KAragounis is victimized yet again. Before the kick is taken, it's Stelios (#8) on for Amanatidis for Greece. The ball from the free kick is played into the 6-yard box, but cleared by Pavlyuchenko. The resulting throw-in for Greece leads to another Greek corner.

- The Greek corner is taken by Basinas, but Kyrgiakos heads it directly to Akinfeev.

81:25 - Corner for Russia, and the ball is played out to the 18 and back into the corner. Russia eventually wins a free kick after Karagounis fouls a Russian midfielder.

82:30 - The free kick from 20 yards is a shot, but it curls over the bar.

83:30 - Yellow card to Torbinski for time-wasting on the Russian throw-in.

85:10 - The Russians come up on the break but Kolodin is unable to make the pass, and the ball goes out for a Russian throw-in.

86:00 - Greece gets an opportunity and the ball makes it into the goal, but Gekas is ruled offsides in a very close call.

86:46 - Zhirkov off, Berezutski (#2) on for Russia.

87:33 - Foul as Torosidis teabags a Russian. The ball eventually results in a corner, where the ball is played around the box in a bit of time-wasting.

90:00 (+01:45) - LAst big push for the Greeks, but Kyrgiakos puts the ball over the bar.

90:00 (+01:39) - The Russians counter-attack, but Pavlyuchenko takes a shot in a 5-on-2 situation and it goes way over the bar.

90:00 (+02:13) - The Greeks attack again, but Gekas is caught offsides.

90:00 (+03:01) - FULL TIME. Russia 1 - Greece 0, and the defending champions are eliminated. The Russians still have it all to play for in their match against Sweden.


The Fan's Attic said...

Oddly enough, I may or may not be wearing pants.

Precious Roy said...

I seriously think I could liveblog the product development and management seminar I'm at, and it might be more dynamic than any match involving Greece.

Precious Roy said...

Someone just said "At the end of the day" and "It is what it is" within the same thought...

Beat that you Hellenic punks.

The NY Kid said...

I heard King Otto saying that they were going to give 110%.

Precious Roy said...

How? They gonna play 12 people?

The NY Kid said...

The officiating crew is Italian - draw your own conclusions. HI-OH!

Precious Roy said...

You should also blame the Colonel with he wee beady eyes.

The Fan's Attic said...

Well, I accept the blame.

The Fan's Attic said...

i like the boos raining down on every backpass.

Goat said...

Isn't the Vatican part of the Pentavarate? Is this officiating crew doing their bidding?

Precious Roy said...

My bad, the Colonel is part of the Pentaverate isn't he?

Precious Roy said...

Is there anything more useless than a set of arrows on a PowerPoint slide? Anything? Darren Bent perhaps?

Goat said...

Yes, along with the Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, and the Rothschilds.

The Fan's Attic said...

I am quite impressed with the announcers ability to pronounce these names.

The Fan's Attic said...

Halftime...and I have to go fiancee duties...oh well...i've watched plenty of soccer over the week, i can miss the second half of this stellar match.

jjf3 said...

mighty late to the non-party, but my talking about football got my parents watching Euro religiously (they need some way to spend the day, and its on every day). I got to spend most of this game explaining the offsides rule (took even longer than I expected, and then got tested almost immediately thanks to replay), why Greece sucks (yet are the defending winners), and why I could promise them they would love the Oranje...

Success on all counts. Possibly the most surprising day of my life...OK, maybe not, but its a definite top-5. My parents are 60+, and are watching Euro 2008 every day 2 weeks in EVEN without understanding the offsides rule until today...and this after me telling them that they might not enjoy the Azzuri's style of play (Italian background)...

Anyways, thanks for trying to cover this game. It was an ugly mess I had to try to explain to them, but it seemed to make sense - they understood a striker "taking the ball to the corner" late in a game, even as we saw Russia get silly late trying to score instead of steal time...