"We're back in the competition," said Czech Republic midfielder Tomáš Hübschman after the 2-1 success against Greece that got their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign back on track.
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"We're back in the competition," declared Czech Republic midfielder Tomáš Hübschman after the the 2-1 victory against Greece that got their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign back on track. It was not all good news – the Czech players felt their second-half performance level dropped after Tomáš Rosický's departure with an Achilles injury – but there was still satisfaction at a hard-fought victory which leaves them with everything to play for against Poland in their final Group A fixture.
Petr Jiráček, Czech Republic midfielder
For any player, if you get an [early] goal like this, it makes things easier for you. I'm glad it helped us because we needed it, the goal was important and by battling, we managed to keep our lead in the second half. They were two goals down after six minutes, we were dominating, the fans were driving us on – they really made themselves heard. In the second half, though, our level dropped and we had to a battle to hang on for the win. We succeeded so we are all satisfied.
[For the goal] I got a fantastic pass from Tomáš Hübschman. I was actually alone in front of the goalkeeper, I wanted to hit it close to the post, avoiding him and I managed to do that, so naturally we're happy. Now the important thing is not to rest on our laurels – we knew we faced a fight and now we'll start to concentrate on the last match against Poland which will be very important.
Tomáš Hübschman, Czech Republic midfielder
Today, the most important thing was to get the three points. We wanted to make up for the result against Russia so the main aim was to get a good result to give us a chance of advancing from the group. It feels great to get the win.
I don't ever remember taking a two-goal lead after six minutes. But we did have a good start and I am happy that it went that way. It is a pity we then eased off a bit and gave the Greeks the chance to play. The first half was OK but our second half was poor – perhaps not poor, but from the moment we conceded we somehow stopped playing and Greece came back into it. Our main aim was then just not to concede another goal, and we did that.
[Greece] did not have a clear chance. They did apply a lot of pressure, though – they played some dangerous long balls and had three tall players who saw a lot of the ball during the second half. The important thing is that we won the ball back a lot and allowed them no clear chances. We are back in the competition and it is good that we will go into the match against Poland with a chance of advancing. That was our target.
Tomáš Rosický, Czech Republic midfielder
The whole first half was very good from our side, and I cannot judge the second half, because I did not see it. I watched from the 75th minute, because I was getting treatment [after going off at half-time]. I have a problem with my Achilles tendon, and I do not know [the extent], we'll have to see.
We will see what the result from the Russia-Poland match is, but of course I am very happy we kept cool heads. We know that we have a good team, we can get through the group, and we showed it today.
[Beating Greece in a rematch of the 2004 semi-final] is not such a satisfaction, because from the teams then there is only [Giorgios] Karagounis and [Kostas] Katsouranis and from our team me, Milan [Baroš], Petr Čech or [Jaroslav] Plašil. Maybe it is a small satisfaction, but I did not go into the match with any thoughts that it might be some revenge for what happened in 2004.