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Czechs bid for '96 revival in Portugal reunion

The Czech Republic and Portugal met in the 1996 and 2008 UEFA European Championships, the Czechs winning their quarter-final 16 years ago with a famous Karel Poborský goal.

Match winner Karel Poborský (left), in action against João Pinto during the teams' EURO '96 quarter-final
Match winner Karel Poborský (left), in action against João Pinto during the teams' EURO '96 quarter-final ©Getty Images

The Czech Republic will hope to turn back the clock when they take on Portugal in the first UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final in Warsaw.

• Sixteen years ago the Czechs overcame Portugal 1-0 at this stage en route to the final of EURO '96 in England. Then as now they recovered from an opening defeat to progress from a group with a negative goal difference – and with Russia eliminated beneath them. This time round, unlike then, Michal Bílek's side advanced as Group A winners after victories against Greece and Poland.

• Paulo Bento's Portugal also recovered from a defeat in their first match, in their case against Germany, to claim second place in Group B thanks to wins against Denmark and the Netherlands. The only other time they lost their opening game was in 2004, when they went all the way to the final.

• The winners will take on Spain or France in the semi-finals in Donetsk on 27 June.

Head-to-head record
• The Czech Republic have faced Portugal twice, both in UEFA European Championship final tournaments. In addition to that 1996 Czech victory, Portugal were 3-1 winners on matchday two at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Portugal also took on Czechoslovakia nine times with the record W3 D3 L3 F6 A10.

• The teams met in qualifying for the 1976 UEFA European Championship, Czechoslovakia winning 5-0 in Prague – Přemysl Bičovský and Zdeněk Nehoda each scoring twice – and drawing 1-1 in Porto en route to winning the section as they set out on the road that would ultimately end with them claiming the trophy.

• Portugal finished ahead of Czechoslovakia in qualifying for the 1966 FIFA World Cup after winning 1-0 away thanks to Eusébio's goal and drawing 0-0 at home. The teams traded home wins in qualifying for Mexico '86 but Portugal eventually qualified in second place with Czechoslovakia in fourth.

• Czechoslovakia gained revenge on the last day of qualification for Italia '90 when a 0-0 draw in Lisbon secured their passage at Portugal's expense.

Selected previous meetings
11 June 2008: Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal (Sionko 17; Deco 8, Ronaldo 63, Quaresma 90) – Stade de Genève, Geneva, UEFA EURO 2008 group match
Czech Republic: Čech, Grygera, Ujfaluši, Rozehnal, Jankulovski, Galásek (Koller 73), Sionko, Matějovský (Vlček 68), Polák, Plašil (Jarolím 85), Baroš.
Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Petit, Moutinho (Fernando Meira 75), Ronaldo, Deco, Simao (Quaresma 80), Nuno Gomes (Hugo Almeida 79).

• Portugal sealed qualification from Group A with a game to spare. Although Libor Sionko cancelled out Deco's early goal, Cristiano Ronaldo restored Portugal's lead and set up Ricardo Quaresma for a third.

• Michal Kadlec and Tomáš Sivok were unused substitutes for the Czechs and Rui Patrício, Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso, Nani and Hélder Postiga remained on the bench for Portugal.

23 June 1996: Czech Republic 1-0 Portugal (Poborský 53) – Villa Park, Birmingham, EURO '96 quarter-final
Czech Republic: Kouba, Suchopárek, Kadlec, Horňák, Látal, Němeček (Berger 90), Němec, Bejbl, Šmicer (Kubík 46), Poborský, Kuka.
Portugal: Baía, Secretário, Couto, Hélder, Oceano (Folha 65), Dimas, Figo (Cadete 82), Sousa, João Pinto, Sá Pinto (Domingos 46), Rui Costa.

• Karel Poborský's sublime chip over Vítor Baía settled a tight game, the Czechs hanging on despite Radoslav Látal's 82nd-minute red card.

Form guide
• The Czech Republic are playing their third quarter-final of a EURO final tournament and have yet to lose one after victories in 1996 against Portugal and 2004, when they beat Denmark 3-0. As part of Czechoslovakia they also won two-legged quarter-finals in 1960 (v Romania, 5-0 on aggregate) and 1976 (v Soviet Union, 4-2 on aggregate).

• This is Portugal's fifth successive quarter-final, with victories in 2000 (v Turkey, 2-0) and 2004 (v England 2-2, 6-5 on penalties) and defeats in 1996 (v Czech Republic, 0-1) and 2008 (v Germany, 2-3). Prior to then their only quarter-final appearance was a two-legged 6-3 loss to Yugoslavia back in 1960.

• Portugal did, though, reach the semi-finals in 1984, qualifying for the last four directly from the group stage.

Team ties
• Bílek helped Czechoslovakia qualify for the 1990 World Cup, eliminating Portugal in the process. On 6 October 1989 he scored both goals in a 2-1 victory in Prague, converting an 11th-minute penalty and then hitting the winner in the 83rd minute.

• Czechoslovakia booked qualification with a 0-0 draw in Lisbon on 15 November 1989 on a night when Portugal needed a three-goal victory. Jan Stejskal, now the Czech Republic's goalkeeping coach, was between the posts for both matches.

• Michal Kadlec's father Miroslav and Czech team manager Vladimír Šmicer both appeared in the EURO '96 quarter-final win against Portugal, whose team included João Pinto, now director of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). Pinto later played alongside Poborský at SL Benfica between 1998 and 2000.

• Petr Čech and Raul Meireles are team-mates at Chelsea FC. The goalkeeper got the better of Eduardo and Nélson Oliveira's Benfica in the quarter-finals of this season's UEFA Champions League, Meireles scoring Chelsea's final goal in a 3-1 aggregate win.

• Tomáš Rosický helped Arsenal FC to a 6-2 aggregate win against an FC Porto side including Bruno Alves, Rolando, Meireles and Silvestre Varela in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2009/10.

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