Tag: Czech Republic

The Euro 2012 Quarter-Finals: Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal

So, we have had our twenty-four hour break and it is on to the quarter-finals – the business end, if you will – of the 2012 European Championships. And if there is one player above all others who looks as if he may be the one that is talked about in hushed tones when this tournament is talked about in years to come, it is likely that it will be the moustache-twirling pantomime villain of European football, Cristiano Ronaldo. After eighty minutes of knocking insistently at Petr Cech’s goal, he summoned forth a glorious diving header to win this game to send Portugal through to the semi-finals of the competition. If the Czech Republic had found themselves a trifle bemused to find themselves in the quarter-finals of the competition after their opening thrashing at the hands of Russia, though, they didn’t demonstrate it over the first thirty-five minutes of this match. They put in a strong performance in the opening stages of the match, albeit without creating very much by way of goalscoring opportunities, and it looked as if they might even have found a way to snuff Cristiano Ronaldo out, albeit by parking five or six of their players in a circle around him and refusing to move, but with ten minutes to play of the first half an injury to the surprisingly-still-only-twenty-seven-years-old Helder Postiga, who pulled up...

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Euro 2012: Group A – The Final Day

The bunting will be hanging limp in Warsaw and Wroclaw this afternoon. Poland, the co-hosts of the 2012 European Championships, have been eliminated from the competition at the end of an evening which also saw a Russian team which sparkled in its opening match last week against the Czech Republic eliminated. A group which had caused some to roll their eyes ended up providing absolute fascination, with the mathematical permutations of it all stretching to the dying seconds of the last match to finish last night. Going into yesterday evenings matches, any of the four teams could still qualify for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition and throughout the evening the “As It Stands” group table showed, at varying points, three of the teams as being in the top two spots. When the dust had settled, however, it was the team that arrived at half-time in their opening match a goal down and a man down, Greece, and a Czech Republic side that was beaten out of sight in its opening match that would occupy the much-coveted top two positions. On a rainy night in Wroclaw, the task ahead of Poland was a reasonably simple one. A win against the Czech Republic would be enough to see them edge through to the quarter-finals, and they hared from the traps with six attempts on goal in the opening...

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Euro 2012: Czech Republic 2-1 Greece

Greece’s manager Fernando Santos knew what was coming – in the first half at least. He had his head down, his eyes shut and his hand wiping a furrowed brow (a neat facial trick if your eyes are closed). The speech bubble “oh no, here we go again” wrote itself. I’m sure it has been noted somewhere that Santos would be a shoo-in for any Greek remake of the Inspector Wexford Mysteries. Yet he must either be the answer, or have the answer, to one of this tournament’s biggest mysteries to date – why Greece have been so bad in first halves and so much less bad in the second halves. Their two matches at Euro 2012 have resembled most Everton seasons under David Moyes. Although Everton, of course, are a far better side (before anyone writes in). Those finishing work at five o’clock and heading for the nearest pub to watch this game on the way home missed its decisive moments, which were replayed by ITV after the match to the sound of a Warsaw police siren, which added even more of a “Keystone cops” feel to the pictures. Yet despite being two down to a grateful Czech Republic after six minutes, Greece ended up being a little unlucky, as they were an errant arm away from a 2-1 half-time scoreline – one which all the money in...

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Euro 2012: Russia 4-1 Czech Republic

There is a school of thought which suggests that part of the reason behind the global success of football lays in its occasionally ruthless depiction of the fallibility of humanity. We watch this game above all others for the brilliance and the horrendous, and all stops in between. The first match of the 2012 European Championships demonstrated this in spades. Both Poland and Greece were sporadically excellent and horrific, and the result was a match which surpassed the low expectations that most had for it before it started. Moreover, their draw meant that this evenings game between Russia and The Czech Republic kicked off with this most enigmatic of groups looking no more resolvable than it had a couple of hours earlier. Within twenty-five minutes of kick-off in Wroclaw this evening, however, this fog had started to lift. Russia had intermittently sparkled at the last European Championships but had followed this up with a failure to qualify for the World Cup finals, while the Czechs have flattered to deceive since reaching the semi-finals of the competition eight years ago, only qualifying for this tournament thanks to a ropey last minute penalty kick against Scotland in their group and a play-off win against Montenegro. Having edged through the play-offs, there had been few signs of any improvement on their part in recent months and with some wondering whether Russia, with...

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Euro Moments: The Czech Republic

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features the Czech Republic and Karel Poborsky’s dog. Don’t forget, you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. You can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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