Czech Republic v Poland EURO 2012 Highlights Video, Match Report

Watch EURO 2012 Czech Republic v Poland Highlights, Match Report, Goal Video and Photos Played at Venue: Wroclaw Municipal Stadium on 16 June 2012.
Petr Jiracek scored the only goal of a scrappy game in Wroclaw to break Polish hearts and send Czech Republic into the quarter-finals as winners of Group A.

Czech Republic v Poland EURO 2012 Match Report

Poland's dream is over. They have been evicted from Euro 2012. Their own tournament, the one they have hosted with such panache and such national yearning for wider recognition.

A smartly taken goal by the Czech Republic's Petr Jiracek in the 71st minute broke a nation's heart. Now, despite looking so wretched in their opening fixture against Russia, it is the Czechs who progress to the quarter final. Incredibly, there they are joined by the Greeks.

And in truth, the Polish team never managed to match the huge swell of patriotic fervour which had sprung up behind them. While their fans chanted, sang and ultimately prayed, they fizzled, their effort descending into a frustrated brawl in the centre circle.

As the game began, both sides seemed reluctant to take risks. For Poland the excellent Robert Lewandowski spent much of the time alone up front, with nobody running in to pick up his crafty flicks and chest downs. And when his team mates did approach the penalty area, they seemed to be pole-axed by anxiety.

In the 14th minute, clever build up work between the Dortmund pair Lewandowski and his captain Jakub Blaszczykowski, sent in the Mainz midfielder Eugen Polanski. But alone and unmarked ten yards from Petr Cech's goal, he blasted over. So much, as he had promised before the game, for kicking Czech ass early.

For the Czechs, without their totem Tomas Rosicky, still hampered by an Achilles strain, the speedy Vaclav Pilar causing trouble down Polish right, was their main threat.

He had a shot on 40 minutes that Przemyslaw Tyton - preferred to Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny in the Polish goal - saved with a scramble.

The visitors, though, came out of the dressing room knowing that the Greek goal in Warsaw meant they had to win; the draw that might have provided passage at kick off was no longer an option. Immediately the excellent full back Theodor Gebre Selassie started galloping down the right wing.

Pilar, too, kept attacking, though his runs were increasingly stopped by muscular Polish interventions.

As the Czechs began to seize the initiative, the Polish fans attempted to lift their team, their rendition of Go West far noisier than the Village People ever managed.

But then came silence. In the 71st minute, Tomas Hubschman did precisely what he was picked to do, tackled a Pole outside his own area and advanced.

He passed to Baros who played through Petr Jiracek, who in turn cut across the Polish defence and slotted under Tyton.

The Czech corner of the stadium went mental. And Poland now needed two when one had seemed a tall order.

Nothing came for them and now they are left with but the thinnest of consolations: at least the Russians are going home.

71:14' Petr Jiracek scores goal video - Czech Rep 1 - 0 Poland

Petr Jiracek scores a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal.

Czech Republic v Poland EURO 2012 Extended Highlights Video

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