2012 Group A ReviewToday’s main report reviews the first round of matches from the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine and starts with Group A. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the report. There is also a worksheet (see left) for learners who wish to improve their English. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

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The Good

It has to be the two surprise qualifiers from the group: The Czech Republic and Greece. Few would have predicted that these two would make it to the knock-out stages before a ball had been kicked but after the first set of matches in which the Czechs had been thrashed 4-1 by Russia and Greece had drawn 1-1 with co-hosts Poland even fewer would have done so. And yet the Czechs turned on the style against Greece and then defeated the hosts Poland with a tactical masterclass, while Greece simply kept on battling. Their spirit is there for all to see as they came back from a man down and a goal down against Poland in the opening game before surprising everyone with their 1-0 shock win over dark horses Russia in the final game. Great stuff from Greece.

The Bad

The Polish fans and players were obviously disappointed to be eliminated, after all this was deemed to be the weakest of all the groups and they were playing at home but the Poles were unable to break their hoodoo in European championships – they have yet to record a win. Yet, the biggest disappointments have to be Russia. They started brilliantly with a demolition of the Czech Republic but 8 days later they were out after failing to break down the Greek defence. Too many of their star players failed to perform: Kerzhakov failed to score, Arshavin failed to shine and manager Advocaat failed to lead his team to the knock-out stages.

The Ugly

With many people fearing the worst before the tournament started the fact that there were ‘only’ 180 arrests and 24 injuries before the game between Russia and Poland may seem like a relief but the fact that this occurred at all is not a good thing for an otherwise peaceful Euros. Pretty ugly.

Download Worksheet Euro 2012-Group A Review


  • Few would have predicted: Not many people thought this would happen
  • before a ball had been kicked: Before the tournament had started
  • thrashed: Heavily beaten
  • turned on the style: Played really well, played in a very good manner (style)
  • a man down: Had a man sent off
  • this was deemed to be: This (group) was supposed (seen as) to be
  • a demolition: A heavy defeat, a heavy thrashing
  • to shine: To play well
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Euro 2012Episode 140