The Group B teams got their first taste of action at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship on Thursday while it was a day of recovery and preparation for the Group A quartet.
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The starting XI from the Denmark game had a light training session comprised of stretching and jogging led by UEFA EURO '96 runner-up Radek Bejbl, who is now part of Jakub Dovalil's backroom staff. The remainder of the squad had a full session before watching Adam Jánoš and Ladislav Takács face off in the Crossbar Challenge.
Players and staff alike had one eye on the general election back home on Thursday. Those players still living in their homeland had voted together before leaving for Prague. The squad trained in the morning – Frederik Sørensen had to sit out with a hamstring injury that continues to be assessed – before socialising with friends and family in the afternoon and going for dinner together as a squad in the evening.
Background preparations for the Denmark match were already in full swing with analysts compiling information observed in Wednesday's other Group A match. At the press conference with Marc-André ter Stegen, the German media was curious as to how he gets along with Bernd Leno, the Barcelona goalkeeper's main challenger for the No1 spot. "There is a lot of respect," the UEFA Champions League winner said. "But we don't need to be in each other's arms all the time, the competition is too fierce for that."
The players had a team meeting in the morning during which they analysed their opening game, followed by a match-fixing awareness session prepared by UEFA. After lunch, Uroš Spajić and Aleksandar Pešić attended the team's press conference. "Honestly, I did not expect the Czech Republic would lose to Denmark. Now, both teams, the Czech Republic and Serbia, are under pressure. It is perhaps their last chance, and we have to play in a full stadium, and it is always hard to play the hosts. The Czechs showed in first half a lot of qualities, and we must be aware of that on Saturday," said Spajić. The team rested in the afternoon before having another meeting and a light training session.
Italy 1-2 Sweden
• Isaac Kiese Thelin converted a late penalty as Sweden came from behind to open Group B victorious in a game both teams ended with ten men.
• "It's amazing, I don't know what to say. We had some incredible fans here today and we did it for them," said Sweden midfielder Oscar Lewicki. Full reaction.
England 0-1 Portugal
• João Mário pounced on 57 minutes to give Portugal an opening win against England in Group B and maintain their perfect run.
• "It was undoubtedly a triumph of both talent and sacrifice," said Portugal coach Rui Jorge. Full reaction.