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Dirty Tackle

DTotD: The harsh sending off of Greece’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos

With Greece down 1-0 in the Euro 2012 opening match after an early goal from Robert Lewandowski for co-host nation Poland, getting the tournament's first red card just before halftime seemed more than enough to finish them off, but it actually brought them and the match to life.

Already carrying a yellow card, Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was booked a second time and sent off by Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo for a soft challenge on Rafal Murawski that came after the Polish midfielder already slipped on the grass. The Greeks were understandably outraged, but they shouldn't have been surprised by the harsh decision given the fact that Carballo pulled out 16 red cards in 19 La Liga matches this season.

At halftime, Greece made a key substitution, bringing in Dimitris Salpigidis, who scored an equalizer in the 51st minute and earned a penalty that also got Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny sent off in the 71st minute (but substitute keeper Przemyslaw Tyton saved the shot).

So what should have been an ideal 1-0 win to kick off the tournament for the hosts ended up an entertaining and discombobulated 1-1, 10 v 10 draw. Isn't this tournament wonderful?

This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events.

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