Euro 2012 Group A: Greece 1-2 Czech Republic | inside World Soccer

Euro 2012 Group A: Greece 1-2 Czech Republic

[Wednesday, June 13, 2012 ]

Czech Republic claimed a crucial victory in their battle for a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 after a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Greece in Group A on Tuesday.

Czech midfielder Petr Jiráček scores in the nets of Greek goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias
Czech midfielder Petr Jiráček scores in the nets of Greek goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias

Photo: Getty Images

The Czechs knew they were in real in danger of becoming the first side to be eliminated from the tournament had they lost, but they could hardly have wished for a better opening with two goals in the first six minutes at the Municipal Stadium in Wrocław.

First, Tomáš Hübschman's defence splitting pass was collected by Petr Jiráček outside the box, and the midfielder slotted home easily under little pressure from the Greek rear guard.

Then, three minutes later, Theodor Gebre Selassie found space down the right before whipping in a cross, which was rather fortunately met by the feet of Václav Pilař, who netted his second goal in as many matches.

Greece thought they had pulled a goal back five minutes before the break, but Georgios Fotakis' header was harshly ruled out for offside.

They did succeed in getting one back seven minutes into the second half when Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech fumbled a cross to the awaiting Theofanis Gekas, who had the simple task of directing the loose ball into a gaping goal.

Fernando Santos' men threw everything forward in the final minutes of the game, but were ultimately denied an equaliser by the resilient Czech Republic.

Lineups:

Greece: Kostas Chalkias (Michalis Sifakis, 23); Vasilis Torosidis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Kostas Katsouranis, José Holebas; Georgios Fotakis (Theofanis Gekas, 46), Ioannis Maniatis, Giorgos Karagounis; Dimitris Salpigidis, Georgios Samaras, Kostas Fortounis (Kostas Mitroglou, 71)

Czech Republic: Petr Čech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomáš Sivok, Michal Kadlec, David Limberský; Tomáš Hübschman, Jaroslav Plašil; Petr Jiráček, Tomáš Rosický (Daniel Kolář, 46, František Rajtoral, 90), Václav Pilař; Milan Baroš (Tomáš Pekhart, 64)



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