TORONTO, Ont. – European football fans have geared up for 19 days of top competition at Euro 2012.
Poland and Greece kicked off the championship, Friday, with the match ending in a draw at 1-1, meaning no one was overjoyed or crying in their beer.
At the Dizzy Sports Pub on Roncesvalles Ave., soccer fans wearing red and white Poland jerseys were spilling out the front door.
“It’s great to be here on Roncey,” said Thomas, who just returned to Toronto after living four years in his native Poland. “I think it’s the closest we can get to be in Poland, but I really wish I was back home with all my friends in Warsaw, who I’m sure are having an amazing time.”
Alex, meanwhile, told 680News he started preparing for the match on Thursday and booked off work, game day.
“You go to work, you check out after two hours and go down to the pub. For the doctors appointment – that’s what you tell your boss,” he laughed.
And what’s on the menu?
“You’ve got to have perogies for dinner. Polish beer is an absolute necessity.”
Peter was one of two fans of Greece who bravely decided to set foot in the bar, all because fiancee Emelia cheers for Poland.
“The wedding in September is still definitely on,” Emelia said. “There was a little bit of tension between us. I’m happy with the 1-1 outcome, that’s for sure.”
And Peter said he was prepared for anything.
“Even if there’s only just the two of us in the room, I’m used to being outnumbered,” he told 680News. “I got my back against the wall and I know where the back door is, so I should be fine.”
“[I] might have had a can of black paint maybe to divide the house in half if it went any other way,” he added, post-match.
Two games are on the schedule for Saturday, including a highly anticipated match-up between Germany and Portugal.
Group B features four teams in the FIFA top 10. Holland, along with the Germany, are favoured to get out of the group ahead of Portugal and Denmark.
In Group C, defending champions Spain are in tough against Italy, Croatia and the Republic of Ireland.
Group D might present a surprise. England is in turmoil with Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two matches and injuries to key players. France and Sweden look to leave the English and co-host Ukraine behind.
The other host nation, Poland, has an excellent chance of advancing out of the weakest group in this tournament along with Russia over the the Czechs and Greeks in Group A.