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Czechs leave Greece standing with flying start

Published: Tuesday 12 June 2012, 20.45CET
Greece 1-2 Czech Republic
Petr Jiráček and Václav Pilař scored inside six minutes as the Czechs recovered from their opening loss to rekindle their Group A ambitions.
by Ian Holyman
from Municipal Stadium Wroclaw

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Match statistics

GreeceCzech Republic

Goals scored1
 
2
Possession (%)54
 
46
Total attempts7
 
8
Attempts on target5
 
3
Attempts off target2
 
5
Attempts blocked4
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners1
 
4
Offsides6
 
0
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
26
Fouls suffered24
 
13

Standings

Last updated: 12/02/2013 17:13 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 12 June 2012, 20.45CET

Czechs leave Greece standing with flying start

Greece 1-2 Czech Republic
Petr Jiráček and Václav Pilař scored inside six minutes as the Czechs recovered from their opening loss to rekindle their Group A ambitions.

After making their worst-ever opening to a major final tournament, the Czech Republic made amends thanks to a lightning start as they beat Greece 2-1 to reignite their hopes of making the knockout stages.

The 4-1 defeat by Russia last Friday in their Group A curtain-raiser had clearly stung Michal Bílek's men. They responded by taking the fastest-ever two-goal lead in UEFA European Championship history as Petr Jiráček and Václav Pilař both found the net inside six minutes in Wroclaw. Though an uncharacteristic slip by Petr Čech allowed substitute Fanis Gekas to pull one back eight minutes after the break, the Czechs held on to register a maiden win over Greece, though both teams still harbour ambitions of reaching the quarter-finals.

Fernando Santos's hand had been forced with injury and suspension depriving him of the two central defenders who had begun the opening game against Poland. The Greece coach soon had reason to curse the fates. Almost no sooner had they been put together than the makeshift centre-back pairing of Kyriakos Papadopoulos and midfielder Kostas Katsouranis were pulled apart as Tomáš Hübschman measured a pass between them for Jiráček to open the scoring.

The only goal in the three previous meetings between these two had been Traianos Dellas's silver goal in the UEFA EURO 2004 semi-finals. Jiráček's was worth its weight in gold for the Czechs. Santos had seen his team make a slow start against Poland, and had promised it would not happen again, but there was not even time for Greece to regroup before they fell still further behind.

Theodor Gebre Selassie's overlapping run escaped the attentions of everyone bar Tomáš Rosický, who picked out the full-back on the right. The subsequent low cross evaded goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias's dive and Pilař bundled the ball, and the unfortunate Katsouranis, across the goal line. After being roundly jeered by his compatriots among the crowd when his name was announced before kick-off, there was more than a hint of vindication about Czech coach Bílek's celebratory punch of the air.

The sight of Chalkias limping over to the bench with only 23 minutes on the clock did little to raise the spirits of the Greek fans, unsurprisingly outnumbered by their Czech counterparts inside the Municipal Stadium Wroclaw. Chalkias's replacement, Michalis Sifakis, did his best to improve morale by turning aside a long-range Rosický effort, and when Giorgos Fotakis headed in Vassilis Torossidis's cross, the blue-and-white clad supporters erupted – before the assistant referee's flag quickly pooped their party.

It did not take long after the break for it to restart, though, as the Czechs unwittingly helped Greece back into the game. Milan Baroš dallied when a ball broke kindly in the box; Gekas did not extend the same courtesy, rolling the ball into the empty net after Čech allowed Giorgos Samaras's seemingly innocuous centre to slip through his habitually sure grasp. A similar gaffe had ended Czech hopes at UEFA EURO 2008, yet though Greece pushed for an equaliser, the Chelsea FC goalkeeper's rare mistake did not prove as costly four years on.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.12CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15172/match=2003328/postmatch/report/index.html#czechs+catch+greece+napping

Quotes

  • Fernando Santos

    Read more"Against Poland we had managed to equalise, but it was very difficult to come back this time"

  • Michal Bílek

    Read more"It was a great start. We started well against Russia too, but we were lucky enough to score twice today"

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

1
ChalkiasKostas Chalkias (GK)
Substitution23
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
2
ManiatisGiannis Maniatis
2
Gebre SelassieTheodor Gebre Selassie
5
K. PapadopoulosKyriakos Papadopoulos
Yellow Card56
3
KadlecMichal Kadlec
7
SamarasGiorgios Samaras
6
SivokTomáš Sivok
10
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis (C)
8
LimberskýDavid Limberský
14
SalpingidisDimitris Salpingidis
Yellow Card57
10
RosickýTomáš Rosický (C)
Yellow Card27
Substitution46
15
TorossidisVassilis Torossidis
Yellow Card34
13
PlašilJaroslav Plašil
16
FotakisGiorgos Fotakis
Substitution46
14
PilařVáclav Pilař
Goal6
20
HolebasJosé Holebas
15
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution64
21
KatsouranisKostas Katsouranis
17
HübschmanTomáš Hübschman
22
FortounisKostas Fortounis
Substitution71
19
JiráčekPetr Jiráček
Goal3
Yellow Card36

Substitutes

12
TzorvasAlexandros Tzorvas (GK)
16
LaštůvkaJan Laštůvka (GK)
13
SifakisMichalis Sifakis (GK)
Substitution23
23
DrobnýJaroslav Drobný (GK)
3
TzavellasGiorgos Tzavellas
4
SuchýMarek Suchý
4
MalezasStelios Malezas
5
HubníkRoman Hubník
6
MakosGrigoris Makos
7
NecidTomáš Necid
9
LiberopoulosNikos Liberopoulos
9
RezekJan Rezek
11
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
Substitution71
11
PetrželaMilan Petržela
17
GekasFanis Gekas
Substitution46
Goal53
12
RajtoralFrantišek Rajtoral
Substitution90
18
NinisSotiris Ninis
18
KolářDaniel Kolář
Substitution46
Yellow Card65
Substitution90
23
FetfatzidisGiannis Fetfatzidis
20
PekhartTomáš Pekhart
Substitution64
21
LafataDavid Lafata
22
DaridaVladimír Darida

Coach

Fernando Santos (POR) Michal Bílek (CZE)

Referee

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Assistant referees

Frédéric Cano (FRA), Michael Annonier (FRA)

Fourth official

Matej Jug (SVN)

Additional assistant referees

Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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