The Czech national football team rebounded on Tuesday from its opening loss at EURO 2012, by defeating opponents Greece. The squad got off to the best possible start: scoring two goals inside of six minutes. But a mistake by goalie Čech in the second half put Greece back in the game, and made this one closer than it should have been.
The Czech Republic’s national football team was soundly defeated by
Russia on Friday in the teams’ opening match at Euro 2012. The Russians
were dangerous throughout, building on precision passes and clever plays
that saw them routinely outpace the Czech defense. The Czechs played well
in patches, dominating, for example, in the opening 15 minutes. Still it
was Russia that scored twice in the first half.
The Czechs responded early in the second when Plašil sent a low ball to Václav Pilař who sidestepped Russia’s goalie and put the ball in the net. Soon afterwards, Rosický came close to getting an equalizer but Russian goalie Malafeev stopped his low shot. Russia then regained momentum and added two more to win 4:1.
Speaking on the Czech defeat against Russia in the first EURO 2012 championship game on Friday, national coach Michal Bílek said that of course, the Czech squad was very disappointed with their performance. However, he added, now was the time to show strength and character. The team still had a week to improve its standing in the competition. He said that he would analyze mistakes made in the first match; but then, it was time to move on.
In related news, retired international Pavel Nedvěd, a member of Czech national squads that finished second at Euro ‘96 and third at Euro 2004, will be one of many fans in Wroclaw cheering on the Czech team. The former player, a VIP guest, signed autographs for football fans in Poland, saying he had gladly accepted an invitation to attend. The legendary midfielder stressed, that he was staying out of the Czech team’s way ahead of the matches, not wanting to interfere. Asked by Czech news website idnes to name the country with the best chance of winning the tournament, the player named Germany, which he said boasted a new generation of exceptional players.
The Czech Republic’s national football team plays Russia later on Friday in its first appearance at the EURO 2012 championships in Poland and Ukraine. Team managers said that striker Milan Baroš, who experienced a thigh muscle problem earlier in the week, is fit for the game. Likewise, squad captain and key playmaker Tomáš Rosický is also ready after returning to action on Monday following a three-week layoff. The Czechs are hoping for at least a draw in Friday’s match; bookmakers, however, are largely favouring Russia. The game starts at 8:45 PM CET.
Friday night at 8:45 p.m., the Czech national team meets Russia, its first opponent in the group stage of the EURO 2012 soccer championships, hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. The Czechs will also be playing Greece and Poland in the group stage. Ahead of the kick-off, we spoke to Czech soccer star Pavlína Ščasná-Nováková, who previously has played with FC Bayern Munich as well as other international teams, about the Czechs’ chances, the health of the squad’s star players and the strengths of the national team.
The Czech football association has denied the winners of the second division, FK Ústí nad Labem, a license to play in the top division. The association said that the club had failed to reconstruct its stadium which did not meet the requirements for the Gambrinus Liga. Ústí will therefore remain in the second division in the next season. Second division runners-up Jihlava will be promoted along with Zbrojovka Brno which finished fourth as FK Baník Sokolov, which came in third, did not have the funding to play in the top division.
Striker Milan Baroš withdrew from Tuesday’s training session of the national side in Poland over problems with his thigh muscle, the news agency ČTK reported. The 30-year-old international cut the session short by some 10 minutes; the team’s physical therapist said should the pain persist, the footballer will have to be examined in hospital. However, the national team managers said they believed Baroš will be fit for the team’s first EURO 2012 game against Russia on Friday.
Some 3000 fans came to watch the Czech national team during their first training session in the Polish city of Wrocław ahead of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship which kicks off on June 8. Fans cheered as the national team entered the field of the stadium, which has a capacity of 8000. Among the members on the squad is team captain Tomáš Rosický, as well as Chelsea’s goalie star Petr Čech. The Czech Republic faces Russia on June 8, Greece on June 12, and Poland on June 16.
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