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Czech mate as sorry Poles suffer washout Czech mate as sorry Poles suffer washout

No quarter is given in this tough challenge between Poland's Robert Lewandowski and the Czech Republic's Michal Kadlec                                                  Photograph: Getty Sport No quarter is given in this tough challenge between Poland's Robert Lewandowski and the Czech Republic's Michal Kadlec                                                  Photograph: Getty Sport
No quarter is given in this tough challenge between Poland's Robert Lewandowski and the Czech Republic's Michal Kadlec Photograph: Getty Sport No quarter is given in this tough challenge between Poland's Robert Lewandowski and the Czech Republic's Michal Kadlec Photograph: Getty Sport

Jiracek 72

THIS was no way to treat your hosts. Tens of thousands of Czech supporters piled over the border to Wroclaw, where they weathered a by-now typical early storm from Poland amid a torrential downpour before proceeding to douse their hopes of remaining in their own tournament.

Refereed by Paisley's Craig Thomson – rather fitting considering the role match officials played in getting the Czechs to Euro 2012 – a second-half goal from Viktoria Plzen's excellent Petr Jiracek ended Poland's interest in this competition early.

It was a deserved victory for Michal Bilek's side, not least considering the way they have pulled themselves together after their opening-day rout to Russia. It also maintained their country's serious pedigree in this competition.

The class of 2012 are charged with emulating the efforts of Karel Poborsky and co who went all the way to the final in Euro 96, or even those of Antonin Panenka, whose cheekily chipped penalty saw them actually win the thing under the guise of Czechoslovakia, back in 1976.

Lightning struck twice around kick-off time, as an electric storm of similar ferocity to the one which caused the delay to the France-Ukraine match in Donetsk on Friday night reverberated around the stadium. Wroclaw has been the site for all three of the Czech Republic's games, but home advantage belonged to the Polish supporters at kick-off time.

The hosts seemed to take their cue from the thunder and lighting to start at a quick tempo, with Robert Lewandowski skewing a great chance wide early on. The experienced Dariusz Dudka was off target with a header, and Sebastian Boesnich forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a tidy save from long range.

But the Czechs – minus talisman Tomas Rosicky, who failed a late fitness test – weathered the storm and used their patient passing game to come more into the game as half-time approached.

Vaclav Pilar, the Viktoria Plzen winger who has agreed to move to Wolfsburg after the tournament, should really have notched his third of the tournament early on after great work down the right by Theodor Gebre Selassie and Milan Baros was overly hesitant when attempting to latch onto one cross ball.

The pattern of increasing Czech dominance continued into the second period, in fact it was given added urgency with the news that Greece had opened the scoring against Russia in Warsaw.

Both sides were heading out now if it ended goalless, and soon Limberski was making room down the left before shooting into the side netting, and centre- half Tomas Sivok's header from a Jaroslav Plasil free-kick was flying straight at Polish goalkeeper Tyton.

The goal was coming though, and it was hardly a surprise when the excellent Tomas Hubschmann intercepted a pass and fed Milan Baros. The former Liverpool player held play up long enough for Jiracek to catch up with him, and from the resultant pass, Jiracek skipped on to his right and placed a sweet finish underneath Tyton.

Referee Thomson had his work cut out as the players remonstrated late on, and Celtic flop Pawel Brozek failed to make any impact when given his chance to rescue things late on. The Poles' last chance came and went due to an unbelieveable headed clearance from Michal Kadlec to defy Jakub Blaszczykowski. Czech mate, you might say.

THIS was no way to treat your hosts. Tens of thousands of Czech supporters piled over the border to Wroclaw, where they weathered a by-now typical early storm from Poland amid a torrential downpour before proceeding to douse their hopes of remaining in their own tournament.

Refereed by Paisley's Craig Thomson – rather fitting considering the role match officials played in getting the Czechs to Euro 2012 – a second-half goal from Viktoria Plzen's excellent Petr Jiracek ended Poland's interest in this competition early.

It was a deserved victory for Michal Bilek's side, not least considering the way they have pulled themselves together after their opening-day rout to Russia. It also maintained their country's serious pedigree in this competition.

The class of 2012 are charged with emulating the efforts of Karel Poborsky and co who went all the way to the final in Euro 96, or even those of Antonin Panenka, whose cheekily chipped penalty saw them actually win the thing under the guise of Czechoslovakia, back in 1976.

Lightning struck twice around kick-off time, as an electric storm of similar ferocity to the one which caused the delay to the France-Ukraine match in Donetsk on Friday night reverberated around the stadium. Wroclaw has been the site for all three of the Czech Republic's games, but home advantage belonged to the Polish supporters at kick-off time.

The hosts seemed to take their cue from the thunder and lighting to start at a quick tempo, with Robert Lewandowski skewing a great chance wide early on. The experienced Dariusz Dudka was off target with a header, and Sebastian Boesnich forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a tidy save from long range.

But the Czechs – minus talisman Tomas Rosicky, who failed a late fitness test – weathered the storm and used their patient passing game to come more into the game as half-time approached.

Vaclav Pilar, the Viktoria Plzen winger who has agreed to move to Wolfsburg after the tournament, should really have notched his third of the tournament early on after great work down the right by Theodor Gebre Selassie and Milan Baros was overly hesitant when attempting to latch onto one cross ball.

The pattern of increasing Czech dominance continued into the second period, in fact it was given added urgency with the news that Greece had opened the scoring against Russia in Warsaw.

Both sides were heading out now if it ended goalless, and soon Limberski was making room down the left before shooting into the side netting, and centre- half Tomas Sivok's header from a Jaroslav Plasil free-kick was flying straight at Polish goalkeeper Tyton.

The goal was coming though, and it was hardly a surprise when the excellent Tomas Hubschmann intercepted a pass and fed Milan Baros. The former Liverpool player held play up long enough for Jiracek to catch up with him, and from the resultant pass, Jiracek skipped on to his right and placed a sweet finish underneath Tyton.

Referee Thomson had his work cut out as the players remonstrated late on, and Celtic flop Pawel Brozek failed to make any impact when given his chance to rescue things late on. The Poles' last chance came and went due to an unbelieveable headed clearance from Michal Kadlec to defy Jakub Blaszczykowski. Czech mate, you might say.

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