Czech regret at failing to meet potential

Lukáš Vácha pinned the blame on himself after his dismissal cost the Czech Republic against Belarus, while Marcel Gecov and Tomáš Vaclík reflected on what might have been in Denmark.

The Czech Republic show their disappointment at the final whistle
The Czech Republic show their disappointment at the final whistle ©Getty Images

After seeing their hopes of reaching the Olympic Games dashed by Belarus in Saturday's play-off, the Czech Republic squad were understandably disappointed, and left nursing regrets after a tournament that failed to meet expectations.

Having eased through qualifying as the only unbeaten team in Europe, the Czechs arrived in Denmark billed as one of the tournament favourites. However, after suffering the disappointment of missing out on the final, Jakub Dovalil's men also saw their hopes of clinching a place in London next year slip away as Yegor Filipenko's 88th-minute goal stamped the Belarusians' Olympic ticket.

Marcel Gecov
Things didn't go as we had imagined. Everything didn't go well. We didn't play well in the first game, and there was nothing to take from the second game. The win against England gave us a bit of confidence, but things didn't change against Switzerland. We wanted to go to the Olympics – that was our aim in the tournament. Everyone's disappointed that we didn't achieve our goal of going to the Games.

Tomáš Vaclík
The whole squad thought the tournament would go differently. On the one hand, it's great to get a medal, but on the other, we all know that we could have done much better here. People back home in the Czech Republic had faith in us – our fans believed in us. This team is exceptional, so that makes it all the more disappointing.

Ondřej Čelůstka
Unfortunately we did not [have any luck]. I think until the sending-off we had the game under control, but we didn't manage to score. We had more chances. Simply, that's football. The performance was 100% better compared to the semi-final and, as I say, it is a pity we didn't confirm it with a goal.

Lukáš Vácha
It's my fault. I'm to blame. I have to stand up and face everyone. I have no excuse.