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EURO reunion for Group A pacesetters

Published: Wednesday 2 January 2008, 19.00CET
Memories of EURO '96™ will be stirred by the meeting between Czech Republic and Portugal as they meet in Geneva with both having won their opening Group A games.
EURO reunion for Group A pacesetters
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech plays club football with Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea @Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Czech RepublicPortugal

Goals scored4
Total attempts34
Attempts on target11
Attempts off target17
Attempts blocked0
Attempts against woodwork1
Yellow cards4
Red Cards0
Fouls committed50
Fouls suffered48
Published: Wednesday 2 January 2008, 19.00CET

EURO reunion for Group A pacesetters

Memories of EURO '96™ will be stirred by the meeting between Czech Republic and Portugal as they meet in Geneva with both having won their opening Group A games.

Winners of day one of UEFA EURO 2008, the Czech Republic and Portugal go into their encounter at the Stade de Genève seeking the second victory that, depending on the result between Switzerland and Turkey, could secure their place in the last eight with a game to spare.

• Both teams have an impressive recent pedigree on the European stage – the Czechs were semi-finalists in 2004 and runners-up in 1996, while Luiz Felipe Scolari's Portugal reached the final four years ago – and both set an early marker with victories on Saturday.

• Karel Brückner's Czech team defeated co-hosts Switerland 1-0 in the opening match in Basel, substitute Václav Svěrkoš scoring the only goal after 71 minutes. Portugal then overtook them in the initial standings thanks to a 2-0 win against Turkey in Geneva, Pepe and Raul Meireles the scorers.

• This is a fixture that will stir memories of EURO '96™ and the only previous meeting between the countries – one settled in the Czechs' favour by a famous goal from Karel Poborský.

• Poborský's cheeky lob over Vítor Baía after 53 minutes secured a 1-0 victory for the Czechs in the quarter-final at Villa Park in Birmingham. Dusan Ûhrin's team subsequently reached the final where they lost 2-1 to Germany.

• The teams for that quarter-final were:
Czech Republic: Petr Kouba, Radoslav Látal, Jan Suchopárek, Miroslav Kadlec, Václav Nemecek (Patrik Berger), Jirí Nemec, Karel Poborský, Pavek Kuka, Radek Bejbl, Michal Hornák, Vladimír Šmicer (Luboš Kubík).
Portugal: Vítor Baía, Carlos Secretário, Oceano Andrade Cruz (António Folha), Fernando Couto, João Pinto, Sá Pinto (José Domingos), Rui Costa, Dimas, Hélder, Paulo Sousa, Luís Figo (Jorge Cadete).

• Poborský had a spell with Portuguese side SL Benfica later in his career and eventually became his country's most capped player with 118 appearances.

• Looking further back, the former Czechoslovakia also claimed Portugal's scalp en route to winning the European crown in 1976. The Czechoslovakians defeated Portugal 5-0 in Prague then earned a 1-1 away draw in the tournament's preliminary group stage.

• The overall record between Czechoslovakia and Portugal was three wins apiece from nine matches.

• Ricardo Quaresma scored both Portugal goals when they defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship in May 2000. Raul Meireles was also in the Portugal team while Tomáš Sivok featured for the Czechs.

• Portugal pair Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira are defensive colleagues of Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech at Chelsea FC. Portugual full-back Bosingwa will join that trio at Stamford Bridge after the finals.

• Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo headed the opening goal of May's UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United FC and Chelsea past Čech. The Czech goalkeeper later saved a penalty from Ronaldo but was beaten by another from Nani as Chelsea lost the deciding shoot-out.

• Czech internationals Tomáš Galásek and Jan Polák were members of the 1. FC Nürnberg side that ran out surprise 3-2 winners against a VfB Stuttgart team including Fernando Meira in the 2007 German Cup final.

• Čech kept clean sheets for AC Sparta Praha in home (2-0) and away (1-0) wins against FC Porto in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second group stage. Libor Sionko scored in both games against a Porto team that included Ricardo Carvalho and Deco.

• Meireles and Quaresma both scored past Čech in FC Porto's 2006/07 UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie against Chelsea. Meireles struck the opening goal in the 1-1 first-leg draw, Quaresma the opener in Porto's subsequent 2-1 loss in the return.

• Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United FC in January this year in a 6-0 win against a Newcastle United FC side featuring Czech defender David Rozehnal.

• The Czech Republic's best performance in their three previous UEFA European Championship finals appearances was in 1996, when they reached the final. As part of the former Czechoslovakia, they were European champions in 1976.

• Portugal's own best performance in four previous appearances came at UEFA EURO 2004™, where they finished runners-up on home soil.

• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth edition that features a final tournament with a group phase.

Last updated: 09/06/08 23.14CET