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Russia, Poland exit Euro 2012 after dramatic Group A finale

Story highlights

  • Czech Republic and Greece first teams into quarterfinals at Euro 2012
  • Russia and co-hosts Poland exit after losing final Group A matches
  • Captain Giorgos Karagounis scores Greece's winner against Russia
  • Petr Jiracek scores his second goal of tournament to eliminate Poland

The highly-fancied Russia team and co-hosts Poland crashed out of Euro 2012 on Saturday as the Czech Republic and Greece became the first nations to secure quarterfinal berths.

Russia led Group A going into the third and final round of matches, needing just a draw against Greece to progress into the last eight.

However, a superb strike from veteran Greece captain Giorgis Karagounis just before halftime proved enough to send Dick Advocaat's side home.

"When we left Greece, we all said, 'We will give everything when our compatriots aren't having the best of times,' said Karagounis, referring to Greece's economic problems.

"I believe that this tonight puts a smile on their faces. We're happy we managed to do this for Greece, for our country, for Greeks all over the world."

Euro 2012: Day 9 as it happened