"We're angry now," said goalscorer Václav Pilař after the Czech Republic were beaten 4-1 by Russia in Wroclaw, while Michal Kadlec felt "the 4-1 scoreline says it all".
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After a 4-1 defeat against Russia in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 game, Václav Pilař took no consolation in having scored in Wroclaw, with the winger left bitter by the manner of their defeat. Defender Michal Kadlec felt a little more positive about the team's performance, but found the scoreline just as hard to take.
Václav Pilař, Czech Republic winger
It ended very badly. We really wanted to make a great impression in the first match of the tournament and, most importantly, not to lose it. We made a lot of mistakes and we didn't defend very well, so it was a bad game today. We gave them the room to play, which was bad. We knew that Russia have good forwards and I think we could have handled them, but they were simply better when they had the ball and we weren't strong enough in one-on-one situations.
Jaroslav Plašil laid on a great pass to me right between their two full-backs [for my goal] but I'm not happy. I would have been far happier if we had achieved a good result. We're angry now, even more so after losing by such a scoreline.
Michal Kadlec, Czech Republic defender
We expected the Russians to make the running from the start, but it turned out to be the other way round; it was us who started the match well but then we froze, twice in fact. It is difficult to lift yourself again after that. Then we got ourselves going by scoring the goal, so it was 2-1 and we were trying to score again but then it went to 3-1. It's a pity. We did not play that badly, but when you look at the 4-1 scoreline, it says it all. We have to put this match behind us and analyse our errors so we do not repeat them in the next match. There are two more matches, we have to improve.
Were Russia better than we expected? I don't really know – it is difficult to say. I think we made lots of mistakes we had not made during qualifying or since then. A high-quality opponent such as Russia, of course, punishes anyone for mistakes such as we made and then it ends up being a very, very bitter defeat.
The atmosphere was great, I must thank all the Czech fans who came. Let's hope they will also come to help us in the next match. This is sport, this is football: you lose games, but it may be that we have got our errors and our defeat out of the way at the start. In the past, we have managed to shake off heavy defeats and lift our heads again. I hope the character of our team will shine through again, and that we will shake off this defeat, too.