The official website for European football

Czechs savour penalty glory

Published: Tuesday 28 May 2002, 17.45CET
The Czech Republic are UEFA European Under-21 Champions after defeating favourites France.

Match statistics

FranceCzech Republic

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target0
 
0
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Published: Tuesday 28 May 2002, 17.45CET

Czechs savour penalty glory

The Czech Republic are UEFA European Under-21 Champions after defeating favourites France.

Petr Cech was the hero as the Czech Republic defeated pre-match favourites France 3-1 on penalties to win the UEFA European Under-21 Championship after a scoreless draw at the Saint Jakob stadium in Basel.

Boumsong miss
After his superb display ensured the match finished goalless, Cech then made two saves in the penalty shoot-out before Jean-Alain Boumsong struck his effort against the crossbar and over to shatter France's dreams. It was harsh on Boumsong in particular, who had again been totemic in the French defence. Despite dominating the early phases, however, his team never looked like repeating the easy victories of their previous four games in this tournament, which included a 2-0 win against the Czechs in the competition opener.

'History remembers winners'
Czech coach Miroslav Beránek was in ebullient mood afterwards, revealing that his pre-match talk had served to inspire his players. "We spoke before the game and said how much we wanted to be champions, and I told the players that history only remembers the winners," he said. "France had an excellent first 30 minutes, and we were indebted to Petr Cech. In the second half we were better and were stronger than France."

French attack denied
Cech and his defence dealt with everything Sidney Govou, Steed Malbranque and Pegguy Luyindula in the French attack could throw at them, making sure they went one better than in 2000, when they lost 2-1 at this stage to Italy. France had gone into the game with the same starting lineup which had ejected hosts Switzerland 2-0 in the semi-finals, while the Czechs kept Michal Pospíšil, who scored the 'golden goal' against Italy, on the bench.

Czechs under pressure
The opening period was France's best, and this was when the Czech back-line had to be at their most alert. Govou was especially dangerous, but clear-cut chances always were few and far between. Malbranque did have shooting chances from outside the area, but it was Govou who forced the first save from Cech on 14 minutes after placing the ball through Tomás Hubschman's legs. Soon afterwards Cech did well to stop a Jérémie Bréchet header at close range, but already the early French pressure was receding. Indeed, as the first half ended, the main Czech worry was the fact they had already had to substitute Martin Jiranek and Milan Baroš.

Landreau plays his part
However, in the second period it was clear they need not have been so concerned. What attacking play there was increasingly came at the French end, and now Mickaël Landreau was the busier of the goalkeepers. His best stop came on the hour when he dived to deny Rudolf Skacel, but as the end of normal time approached both teams seemed to tire, with bookings and substitutions outnumbering attempts on goal despite both teams forcing several corners.

No 'golden goal'

Extra time came but even the incentive of a 'golden goal' could not inspire either attack against defences well marshalled by Boumsong and David Rozehnal respectively. So the trial of penalties for both teams, and having moved through each stage in a quieter fashion than France, the Czechs came into their own to claim the trophy.

French pain
It began well for France with Camel Meriem converting, but after that Pospíšil, Zdenek Grygera and Skacel made no mistake for the Czechs. The towering Cech blocked Pierre-Alain Frau and Julien Escude's efforts before Boumsong's shot flew over off the crossbar, the shoot-out ending 3-1.

Joy for winners
Ecstasy for the Czech Republic, finally erasing the pain of their loss to Italy two years ago. France will have to make do with the consolation of their stylish play in the first four matches, and the likes of Benoit Pedretti, Olivier Sorlin, Escude, Luyindula, and Boumsong can draw comfort from the fact it may not be too long before they are elevated to the senior stage.

'A great disappointment'
The luckless Boumsong, perhaps the pick of those players, looked to the future in admitting: "It's a great disappointment. We were very tired but we did our best and I hope the next generation will win it for us." Coach Raymond Domenech paid tribute to the Czechs, saying: "They were a strong team with more energy than us. They also had a great goalkeeper, not only in size, but in the way he played and that made all the difference."

Last updated: 28/03/13 3.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2002/matches/round=1610/match=69599/postmatch/report/index.html#czechs+savour+penalty+glory

Lineups

France

France

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

1
LandreauMickaël Landreau (GK) (C)
16
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
2
RéveillèreAnthony Réveillère
Yellow Card33
2
JiránekMartin Jiránek
Substitution33
3
EscudéJulien Escudé
Yellow Card112 ET
4
VoříšekPetr Voříšek
4
BoumsongJean-Alain Boumsong
5
GrygeraZdeněk Grygera
5
BersonMathieu Berson
Yellow Card77
Substitution87
8
ZelenkaLukáš Zelenka (C)
Substitution81
6
BréchetJérémie Bréchet
9
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution38
7
SorlinOlivier Sorlin
10
VachoušekŠtěpán Vachoušek
9
GovouSidney Govou
Substitution76
13
PitákKarel Piták
Yellow Card89
10
MalbranqueSteed Malbranque
Substitution64
14
RozehnalDavid Rozehnal
11
LuyindulaPéguy Luyindula
17
HübschmanTomáš Hübschman
18
PedrettiBenoît Pedretti
Yellow Card120 ET
19
SkácelRudolf Skácel
Yellow Card117 ET

Substitutes

16
GregoriniDamien Gregorini (GK)
1
DrobnýJaroslav Drobný (GK)
22
VercoutreRémy Vercoutre (GK)
22
ChvalovskyAleš Chvalovsky (GK)
8
SableJulien Sable
Substitution87
11
PospíšilMichal Pospíšil
Substitution38
13
FrauPierre-Alain Frau
Substitution76
15
PolákJan Polák
Substitution81
19
MeriemCamel Meriem
Substitution64
20
KováčRadoslav Kováč
Substitution33
12
ArmandSylvain Armand
3
HorákMartin Horák
14
DelpierreMatthieu Delpierre
6
DrobnýVáclav Drobný
15
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
7
KobylíkDavid Kobylík
17
Di TommasoDavid Di Tommaso
12
JunTomáš Jun
20
MathisLionel Mathis
18
ŽůrekLibor Žůrek
21
ChapuisCyril Chapuis
21
HrdličkaTomáš Hrdlička

Coach

Raymond Domenech (FRA) Miroslav Beranek (CZE)

Referee

Tom Henning Øvrebø (NOR)

Assistant referees

Markku Tiensuu (FIN), Martin Balko (SVK)

Fourth official

Bernhard Brugger (AUT)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution