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European Championships

Wroclaw Municipal Stadium (ATT 44,416) 16th June 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Craig Thomson

Czech Rep Czech Republic vs Poland Poland

Czech Rep 1

P Jiracek (72)

ft

Poland 0

Poland dumped out by Czechs

Jiracek edges dour game to eliminate co-hosts

Last Updated: 16/06/12 10:36pm

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Petr Jiracek scored a crucial second-half winner as the Czech Republic booked a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 - but they almost lost it with the last kick of the game.

Man of the match: Vaclav Pilar. The Viktoria Plzen man set the tempo for the Czechs and was instrumental when they had to step up the pressure after the break, knowing they now had to win. Kept his side's momentum to good effect, and killed time expertly to Poland's anger when being substituted late on. Ref watch: As tempers frayed in Wroclaw, Craig Thompson got busier and busier. No surprises there with so much at stake, and generally he let the game flow despite the tetchiness. He did miss one awful challenge on Baros by Wasilewski, had a scuffle to deal with late on and handed out eight cautions, but kept a good level of control.

With Greece leading 1-0 against Russia in Warsaw, the Czechs needed victory to qualify for the knock-out stages, and it was only secured by a last-gasp goal-line clearance from Michal Kadlec.

It meant that the Czech Republic progress as group winners and will play the runners up from Group B - either Germany, Portugal, Denmark or Holland.

Before kick off it seemed likely that a draw would be enough for the Czechs, with Russia expected to beat Greece, whilst Poland knew that only a win would continue their interest in the tournament.

And the scenario was illustrated perfectly in the first half as Poland poured forward, whilst those from just across the border seemed reluctant to commit men in attack.

But hearing news of the Greek's goal at half time forced the side who lost their opening game 4-1 to Russia to push men forward.

It seemed inevitable that their superior class would eventually tell, as they created several chances before Jiracek struck with a neat finish.

The hosts will be disappointed as they produced little to threaten their neighbours. In front of an expectant crowd in Wroclaw they created little, and can only point to a first-half Robert Lewandowski chance and the last-ditch effort from Jakub Blaszczykowski which produced Kadlec's dramatic clearance.

Support

Similar to their previous two matches, Poland were backed by boisterous home support and they nearly gave them something to shout about early on but Dariusz Dudka's overhead kick hit the side netting.

Yet they should have been behind soon after and were grateful for Vaclav Pilar fluffing his lines in front of goal after Theodor Gebre Selassie had picked him out with a low ball into the area.

The frenetic start continued, with Poland midfielder Ludovic Obraniak's free-kick from a narrow angle hitting the side netting once more, while Lewandowski should have done better after slicing horribly wide with a decent sight at goal.

It seemed only a matter of time that the Czech Republic defence would be breached and goalkeeper Petr Cech had to be at his best to push away Sebastian Boenisch's dipping 30-yard effort.

With the rain teeming down in Wroclaw, the action slowed down a touch although the Czechs, who beat Greece after losing to Russia, ended the half well.

Milan Baros, after beating the offside trap, failed to control David Limbersky's chip over the defence while Pilar's powerful strike from the edge of the area was gathered by Polish keeper Przemyslaw Tyton at the second attempt.

As the teams trudged off at the interval it was the Czechs who would be going through but Greece taking a shock lead on the stroke of half-time against Russia meant both the Czech Republic and Poland needed victory if the result in Warsaw stayed the same.

Action

Spurred into action the Czechs responded positively, dominating possession in the early stages of the second half but failing to create any clear cut chances.

However, Poland were conceding needless free-kicks on the edge of their area and were nearly made to pay for their reckless defending.

Plasil's excellent delivery found Tomas Sivok but his header was blocked and then instantly punched away by Tyton.

The Czechs were rewarded for their second-half persistence in the 72nd minute as Jiracek gave them a deserved lead.

Baros ran through on goal before sliding the ball to Jiracek, who cut past Boenisch and coolly slotted past Tyton.

Poland head coach Franciszek Smuda threw caution to the wind, bringing on Pawel Brozek and Adrian Mierzejewski immediately after but they failed to test Cech although the Czech Republic defended stoutly.

However, in injury time Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski went through on goal and lifted the ball over Cech only for Kadlec to head off the line, with the final whistle blown immediately after to herald scenes of jubilation from Bilek's men.

Czech RepublicTeam StatisticsPoland
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target6
4Shots off Target6
3Blocked Shots3
6Corners6
20Fouls21
3Offsides1
3Yellow Cards5
0Red Cards0
82.5Passing Success77.8
6Tackles21
83.3Tackles Success71.4
58.5Possession41.5
41.3Territorial Advantage58.7
457Total Passes311
17Total Crosses21
139Lost Balls127
53Recoveries35
56.51st Half Poss.43.5
64.12nd Half Poss.35.9

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Matches

  • European Championships

    Sat 16th Jun - Group A

Tables

European Championships Group A

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Czech Republic 3 6
2 Greece 3 4
3 Russia 3 4
4 Poland 3 2

European Championships Group B

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 3 9
2 Portugal 3 6
3 Denmark 3 3
4 Netherlands 3 0

European Championships Group C

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 3 7
2 Italy 3 5
3 Croatia 3 4
4 Republic of Ireland 3 0

European Championships Group D

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 3 7
2 France 3 4
3 Ukraine 3 3
4 Sweden 3 3

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