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Substitute Salpingidis makes his presence felt

Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 22.48CET
Greece's Dimitris Salpingidis took the Castrol EDGE Index honours in the first match of UEFA EURO 2012 despite starting on the bench at the National Stadium Warsaw.
Substitute Salpingidis makes his presence felt
Dimitris Salpingidis made a real impact off the substitutes' bench ©AFP/Getty Images
 
Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 22.48CET

Substitute Salpingidis makes his presence felt

Greece's Dimitris Salpingidis took the Castrol EDGE Index honours in the first match of UEFA EURO 2012 despite starting on the bench at the National Stadium Warsaw.

He only came on at half-time, but such was the impact of Dimitris Salpingidis that the striker topped the Castrol EDGE Index as ten-man Greece halted a run of eight successive defeats on Polish soil.

Influential in creating this small, yet potentially significant, piece of history was the PAOK FC forward, who was the top performer with a score of 8.36 in the opening match of UEFA EURO 2012. He narrowly edged out his captain, the experienced Giorgos Karagounis (8.34), who might have finished top himself had he not squandered a second-half spot kick.

Salpingidis injected some cut and thrust which had been hitherto lacking prior to his introduction. Fernando Santos's team had not registered a shot on target until Salpingidis equalised six minutes after the restart – in doing so he became the first Greece player to score in both a UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup.

The thrust was seen when he burst on to a deft ball over the defence, Greece's only successful solo run into the penalty area, and drew a foul from Wojciech Szczęsny which resulted in the goalkeeper being dismissed. He also had a late effort disallowed for offside.

Giannis Maniatis (8.18) made it a clean sweep for Greece in the top three of the Index.

Castrol EDGE Index: Poland v Greece
1. Dimitris Salpingidis (GRE) 8.36
2. Giorgos Karagounis (GRE) 8.34
3. Giannis Maniatis (GRE) 8.18
4. Ludovic Obraniak (POL) 7.98
5. Rafał Murawski (POL) 7.92

Key facts
1 – Dimitris Salpingidis scored with Greece's first shot on target.

2 – Number of red cards, the first time there have been two dismissals in a UEFA European Championship finals game since Spain-Bulgaria at EURO '96.

9 – At the ninth attempt Greece avoided defeat on Polish soil.

11 – Greece are unbeaten in 11 competitive outings since bowing out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 loss to Argentina.

90 – The pass completion of Poland centre-back Marcin Wasilewski, the highest on the field.

Player view
Dimitris Salpingidis:
"We are not satisfied because the second half was a completely different game. We had a lot of bad moments in the first half and a lot of bad luck; however, during the second half we did our best, we put our soul into it."

Last updated: 20/06/12 5.17CET

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