Czechs gain revenge on Greeks to stay alive

The Czech Republic kept alive their hopes of reaching the Euro 2012 quarter-finals as they beat Greece 2-1 in their Group A clash here on Tuesday.

Victory not only took the Czechs onto three points with a game to come against co-hosts Poland but was also revenge for their defeat by the Greeks in the Euro 2004 semi-finals.

The Greeks - who went on to win the Euro 2004 title - are stuck on just a point with Russia, who beat the Czechs 4-1 in their opener, to come.

The Czechs made a dream start scoring twice in the opening six minutes with Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar scoring.

Greece threatened to get back into the match seven minutes into the second-half when Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech spilled the ball straight to Fanis Gekas and he tucked the ball away.

Czech coach Michal Bilek was delighted with the victory, though, not so happy with the second-half performance.

"The changes (to the starting line-up) proved useful, we played a great first half, controlled the game, we soon scored twice, the first half was great," said Bilek.

"Tomas Rosicky picked up an injury and we missed his creative skills, we found it hard to create, we conceded a terribly stupid goal and then got under pressure."

Jiracek was more relieved than ecstatic.

"We've made it, the goal was really important, and we're very happy right now," he said.

"After five minutes we were on top, the crowd pushed us forward, but then we fell apart in the second half and had to fight till the end.

"We mustn't get too satisfied, we know we had to fight hard. Now we'll focus on the last game against Poland which will be terribly important and we've got to handle that."

The Czechs made a dream start as they took advantage of the out of sorts second choice Greek centreback pairing of Kostas Katsouranis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who had replaced the injured Avraam Padadopoulos and the suspended Socratis Papastathopoulos.

First Jiracek was picked out in the third minute by Thomas Hubschman with a superb ball over the top which the Wolfsburg dynamo ran on to and fired in a shot that gave Greek 'keeper Costas Chalkias no chance.

Chalkias was at fault for the second goal three minutes later as he failed to cut out Theo Gebre Selassie's ball from the byline and with the two Greek central defenders slow to react Pilar slid in to put the ball in the net for his second goal of the tournament.

Chalkias's unhappy afternoon ended prematurely when he had to go off injured in the 22nd minute and was replaced by Michalis Sapikis.

Sapikis proved himself, though, as he made two fine stops in the first-half from Rosicky and Jiracek.

However, the second-half got off in the worst possible manner with Rosicky - one of the few players still in the side who played in the 2004 game - failing to appear as he was found to be suffering from an apparent Achilles tendon injury.

The Greeks heartened by the loss of the Czechs most influential player pressed for a goal.

They were rewarded when there was a rare error by Cech - another of the class of 2004 - as he collided with Tomas Sivok going for a cross spilled the ball and Fanis Gekas was on hand to gratefully tuck the ball into the net.

The Russians play co-hosts Poland, who have a point after a 1-1 draw with the Greeks, later on Tuesday.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions
    Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions

    Indonesia on Sunday signalled it was determined to push ahead with the execution of eight foreign drug convicts, despite a growing wave of global condemnation led by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon. Authorities on Saturday gave formal notice to the eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- that they would be executed by firing squad imminently, along with an Indonesian prisoner. The group have been moved to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, where …

  • Philippines calls on ASEAN to urge China to halt land reclamation
    Philippines calls on ASEAN to urge China to halt land reclamation

    The Philippines called on its Southeast Asian neighbours to unite in urging China to halt reclamation of land in the South China Sea, but the call failed to raise widespread support ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. Its claims overlap with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in filling in land in contested territory …

  • Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea
    Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Philippines on Sunday urged its fellow Southeast Asian countries to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take "de facto control" of the area. …

  • Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in disputed waters
    Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in disputed waters

    The Philippines on Sunday called on neighbouring Southeast Asian nations to push for an immediate halt to China's reclamation in the disputed South China Sea ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested …

  • President to appeal for Filipina's life at Malaysia summit
    President to appeal for Filipina's life at Malaysia summit

    The Philippine president said Sunday he would appeal for mercy for a Filipina who is due to be executed in Indonesia in two days' time. President Benigno Aquino said he would take the opportunity to seek clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, who is due to be put to death on Tuesday, while in Malaysia for a regional summit Monday. "Once I am there, I will try to speak to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia to appeal once more for her case," Aquino said. She was arrested in 2009 with 2.6 kilograms …

  • U.N. chief appeals to Indonesia not to carry out executions
    U.N. chief appeals to Indonesia not to carry out executions

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Saturday not to execute 10 prisoners, including two Australians, for drug-related crimes. Indonesia has so far informed seven of the 10 death row inmates, including the Australians and one Nigerian, that they will be executed in a matter of days, possibly as soon as Tuesday. Nationals from Brazil, Ghana and the Philippines are also on Indonesia's death row. A temporary reprieve was granted to a French citizen who will not …

  • Beijing 'poised to take de facto control' of S. China Sea'
    Beijing 'poised to take de facto control' of S. China Sea'

    Beijing is poised to take "de facto control" of the South China Sea, the Philippines warned Sunday, but its call for a robust Southeast Asian response at a regional summit was shot down. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic body of water, but Beijing claims nearly all of it, and its increasingly strident territorial assertions have caused concern in the region and beyond. "(China) is poised to consolidate de facto control of the South China Sea," …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options