Czech Republic vs Poland – Euro 2012 Live Blog

Czech Republic vs Poland

Euro 2012

Group A

19.45 BST

This is likely the decider for second place, so an exciting match is ahead. You’d hope anyway. The Czechs were awful in their opener, losing 4-1 to Russia, then came back to beat Greece 2-1, so they might be described as unpredictable. Alternatively, Russia may be described as ‘good’ and Greece as ‘terrible’. Whichever suits, really.

Poland have drawn 1-1 with both Russia and Greece, so they’re neither better nor worse on form. On paper the sides look evenly matched. That’s because on paper they’re just a list of names. In reality this one is still a coin flip. The Poles looked lively and played well against Russia, though they don’t have that kind of talent, while the Czechs were probably lucky to avoid a Greek comeback.

Poland will have the home advantage, but the Czechs, if Russia beat or draw with Greece, only need a draw to go through, so they could try to play defensively. It’s probably not that likely, but if it keeps Baros from attacking it may be a wise decision.

Czech Republic: Cech; Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky; Pilar, Hubschman, Jiracek, Kolar, Plasil; Baros. Subs: Lastuvka, Suchy, Hubnik, Necid, Rezek, Rosicky, Petrzela, Rajtoral, Pekhart, Lafata, Darida, Drobny.

Poland: Tyton; Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch;, Dudka, Polanski; Blaszczykowski, Murawski, Obrania; Lewandowski.Subs:Szczesny, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski, Matuszczyk, Rybus, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki, Brozek, Sandomierski.

Players to watch:

Poland: Tyton, the goalkeeper, saved a penalty in his first second on the pitch for Poland, and has kept his place over usual first choice Szczesny, it could be a crucial decision to keep the Arsenal man on the bench.

Czech Republic: Tomas Rosicky, just stare at him all injured on the bench, that alone will probably be enough to give him a sprained ankle. Jiracek is worth a look too, he’s been playing well and getting forward often, scoring the opener against Greece a few days ago.

Ok, time to crack open a beer, uncork your wine, unbreak my heart, put the kettle on, make a sandwich, cut your cake or do whatever you do pre-match. Only minutes till kick off.

I’ll just remind you what ‘Arsenal fans have to look forward to next season’ circa 2006, and what this match will miss.

2 min.

Poland have a chance from a free kick, it’s fired into the box, comes off the head of a defender and an overhead kick is attempted by Dudka, but it hits the side netting and doesn’t trouble Cech.

3 min.

Gabre Selassie makes a run down the right, beats a defender and crosses low behind Baros. Pilar looks set for a shot, but he makes a mess of it and it goes back out before Hubschman tries to play Selassie back in, but overhits it. Goal kick.

5 min.

Polish free kick. Obraniak takes it from the right edge of the Czech penalty area. He goes for the shot and hits the side netting, again Cech untested.

Cech has been quite poor the last few games so it really would be in Poland’s interest to take a few speculative shots.

7 min.

Polish corner. Obraniak crosses but literally every Czech player is back in defense. Perhaps they are looking to ‘park the bus’. Football stadiums and bus depots are regularly being confused recently.

9 min.

Poor passing by Plasil allows Lewandowski to break into the Czech box for a shot, but he puts it just wide of the goal. Poor shot in the end, he seemed to lose his balance as he struck the ball. The Polish fans sound their disapproval.

11 min.

Limbersky, the Czech defender, picks up a yellow card for a foul on Blaszczykowski just outside the Czech box on the right.

Obraniak takes the free, it’s headed back out and struck wide for a goal kick.

13 min.

Chants of POLAND POLAND ring through the stadium. The Polish are livelier on the pitch and in the stands thus far.

15 min.

Polankski takes a shot from the edge of the area, after more sloppy Czech passing gives Poland the ball in good position, but he sends it high and wide to the right. Poor effort. Still, positive play up front, Poland getting into good positions and looking like scoring.

17 min.

Both teams now looking sloppy in possession. There’s even been a foul throw by the Czechs. You don’t see that often.

20 min.

After a long run of the ball changing possession in the Czech half, a shot is thumped at Cech from distance, he puts it behind and the resulting corner is poor and easily cleared, then again pumped back in to Wasilewski who heads it too close to Cech. He saves easily.

23 min.

Poland are controlling the game and going forward well, just not taking their chances. The Czech Republic have done next to nothing in attack.

This Czech song might inspire them:

25 min.

Poland break after the Czechs finally go forward. Blaszczykowski and Piszczek make a move into the box, but Piszczek slips and Cech falls on the ball.

26 min.

A huge thunderclap just sounded. No lightning yet, but it’s wonderfully dramatic. What’s happening on the pitch sadly, is not.

28 min.

Czech Republic corner is sent into the box toward Kolar, who heads it over and out for a goal kick.

MULTIBALL! Two balls on the pitch, play stops until one is removed. Disappointing. Let’s just go with multiball once, ok Uefa?

30 min.

The rain is coming down in buckets. It’s so bad that it appears to be defending more effectively than either team as dribbles slip away and passes drift off target. Players are slipping and pulling chunks of pitch with them. It’s all getting a bit messy.

32 min.

Czech Republic make a move down the left, but Polanski is able to direct the ball out of play. (See what I did there?)

His best work thus far:

35 min.

Neither team is getting anywhere as the ball is consistently given away in the final third.

36 min.

Baros makes a run into the Polish box unopposed as a pass drops right in front of him. He must score.

He can’t control it and it runs away from him. A striker might have tucked that away, what a chance, alone in the box, one on one with the keeper.

38 min.

The Czechs now looking the better team. Plasil, after a series of passes, takes a shot from distance. It takes a deflection but Tyton can make an easy save.

39 min.

Now Poland look to attack, Dudka sending the ball to Lewandowski who tries to play Blaszczykowski into the Czech box. It’s intercepted, but a good effort from Poland.

40 min.

BREAKING! Baros IS a striker.

Shocking.

41 min.

Lewandowski passes to Murawski on the edge of the Czech D in space. He shoots and it takes a deflection. Polish corner. Obraniak takes it and it’s cleared to Piszczek, who blasts a long-range effort over the bar. Some distance over too.

43 min.

Czech corner won by Pilar after a shot is deflected. Taken short and ends up with Limbersky who sends in a cross. Easily cleared by Poland.

HALF TIME

A very, very poor first half. The rain isn’t helping but neither team can make a breakthrough. Finishing and passing have both been poor, and set pieces almost completely useless. Poland, remember, must win, so they’ll have to come out with a different approach for the second half.

If things continue in the same vein the Czechs will be happy, they can defend their draw and hope Russia do them a favour in the other game.

Czech Rep. 0-0 Poland

UPDATE! Greece are 1-0 up in their match against Russia. That means the Czech Republic, if the scores remain the same, will be equal on points with Greece and Russia, and have the worst goal difference. The Czechs are going to have to come out to play as well now.

Ad Watch:

Revenge looks HORRIBLE. I recommend not watching it.

Trap and advertising in English aren’t a great match, so well done to 3 I suppose, for shoehorning him in despite his being incomprehensible.

Heineken have not listened to my requests for them to stop running the train ad. I do now understand what the plot is. It remains awful. That song… just… no.

Hyundai, you’ve stolen that concept from sports brands, so I won’t remember that it’s a car ad. But it’s a lot better than Kia’s effort to get me to buy their car, so well done on being the lesser of two, not evils, but rubbishes, for want of a better word.

SECOND HALF:

Right, let’s stop Greece going through in case of a repeat of ’04, shall we?

46 min.

Czechs have come out a little more positive in new, dry jerseys. That are possibly more aerodynamic. They also ate oranges, as is the tradition.

They win a corner but it’s cleared to Pilar, who crosses back in for another clearance.

47 min.

Polanski picks up a yellow for chopping down Pilar, who’s looking quite positive since the restart.

If you have anything to add to the blog, tweet me @landsleaving and if it’s not personal abuse, or if it’s at least funny personal abuse, I’ll probably post it up here.

49 min.

Czechs looking a lot more impressive now, they win another corner after a Limbarsky run. Plasil plays it in after a short pass and its cleared for a Czech throw-in.

Pilar throws in to Baros who takes a shot. A BAROS SHOT! but it’s put behind for a corner.

50 min.

Plasil takes the corner and Lewandowski clears for another Czech throw. The POLAND chanting resumes as the Czech Republic being to assert their dominance.

53 min.

Selassie makes a run down the left and flashes a cross across the Polish box. It passes everyone and ends up in the right with Pilar, who sends it back to Limbersky. He shoots, but sends it wide to the left. Not a bad effort, Czech Republic are on top here, Poland really have faded after a good start to the match.

56 min.

A Polish attack down the left leads only to a poor cross that Cech easily catches.

57 min.

Excellent analysis of why Perquis is pronounced Per-key and not Per-kiss on RTE.

58 min.

Pilar overreacts to a push, Brian Kerr calls him a little fella. He flops to the ground like a sack of potatoes, an expression of pure anguish etched across hi face. Free kick.

60 min.

Every time I hear Obraniak I think of this

61 min.

Czech free kick from the left of the Polish area. Poor delivery from  Plasil, but the clearance is picked up by Sivok, who’s tripped and wins a free kick on the right.

62 min.

Plasil with a better cross this time finds Selassie, but he can’t direct the header toward goal, it goes high and wide harmlessly.

63 min.

Pilar is looking really good on the left wing for the Czechs. He makes a run, crosses, then tackles the Polish player it’s cleared to and wins a free.

64 min.

The free is a good one, dropping to Sivok in the 6-yard box. He heads it low but it’s right at Tyton. He unwittingly makes the save.

Excellent sustained pressure from the Czechs here, they aren’t letting up. Poland have barely had the ball in the second half.

66 min.

Why, and how did the Ambrosia/Pet Shop Boys tune become a football fan favourite?

Ooh Ahhr!

67 min.

Baros with another shot. Low and right into the hands of Tyton, but not a bad shot. For him.

69 min.

Czech Republic still dominating, keeping the ball well and keeping it in Polish territory for the most part.

70 min.

Finally a chance for Poland down the left through substitute Grosicki, but it ends up going out for a goal kick.

71 min.

GOAL!

Czech Republic score!

Murawski is disposessed by Hubschman who rushes forward from the Czech half, plays it through to Baros who sends it out to the left for Jiracek. He turns Wasilewski, who slips, and slots it under Tyton into the bottom right corner.

Well deserved goal after a long period of pressure from the Czechs.

Czech Republic 1-0 Poland

73 min.

Substitution for Poland, Murawski off for Mierzejewski

75 min.

Poland now playing a much more attacking style. It’s about time, but they only needed one goal while they were letting the Czechs dominate, now they need two.

76 min.

Huge kick out from Cech goes to Baros after a terrible mistake by Piszczek at the edge of the Polish D. Tyton runs out to clear the ball.

77 min.

Plasil sends a free kick into the Polish box, it’s poorly defended, Wasilewski getting a light touch on it to put it out for a corner.

78 min.

Poland break and Blaszczykowski is able to win a corner for Poland. The cross is cleared by Cech to Piszczek who takes a shot. It’s blocked by the head of Jiracek, who seems to have been hurt by it. The referee stops play for him to regain his composure.

UPDATE!

Still 1-0 to Greece. If the scores remain the same, Russia go out, Greece and the Czech Republic go through.

81 min.

Poland, despite making a better effort, just don’t look like scoring. The Czechs are defending well, and dealing easily with crosses coming in from the wings.

83 min.

Jiracek, the goalscorer is coming off for Rajtoral.

84 min.

Selassie passes back to Cech, who has a footrace with Lewandowski to reach the ball. Cech wins and clears, poor from Selassie.

85 min.

Poland finally get a chance, Wasilewski with a header from a good cross into the Czech area. The header goes wide, but it’s offside anyway.

86 min.

Bit of trouble, players fighting over a Czech substitution taking too long. Blaszczykowski and Plasil get yellow cards for their involvment and the substitution is finally made.

Rezek on for Pilar. Czechs taking a less attack-minded approach for the last few minutes.

88 min.

Blaszczykowski whips in a cross from the right and Lewandowski tries a header, it’s well defended and Poland win a corner. They can’t make much of it, and Perquis gets a yellow card as he trips a Czech player breaking up the field.

90 min.

Baros coming off for Pekhart now, as the Czechs try to eat up the last few minutes.

4 minutes of added time for Poland to score two.

91 min.

UPDATE!

Greece still lead Russia 1-0. So not really an update,  but there you go. Russia could be out.

92 min.

Poland aren’t looking too likely to go forward, Czech free kick eats up some more time. The crowd is getting quieter and quieter. No Fields of Athenry here, the Polish fans must have thought they had a real chance to make it through to the quarters, but they’ve been totally dominated since halfway through the first half.

93 min.

Pekhart gets yellow card for wasting time. Poland thump the ball forward for one last effort.

Blaszczykowski has a header cleared off the line and that’s it.

Game over, Poland are out. The Czech Republic are through to the Quarter Finals.

We’re over to Warsaw as Russia try to save their tournament agasinst Greece.

Dzagoev takes a shot, well over the bar.

And that’s Group A decided. Russia go out, after beating the Czech Republic 4-1 in their opening game, and Greece make it through in second place. They’ll more than likely be playing Germany.

The Czech Republic were well deserving of their win, but if they play they way they did in the opener they won’t make it any further. Poland played a brave tournament, but just didn’t have the quality to make it through. Disappointment for the hosts as they go out. All hopes for a home victory rest on Ukraine now.

Russia, I’m not sure. If I’d seen the game there’d be more to tell you, but it is a let down to see Greece go through, they’re defensive and dull and they managed to ruin the 2004 tournament. Let’s hope they aren’t allowed to do it again. At least it should cheer up the Greek people, who aren’t having the best of times.

That’s it for this evening, thanks for joining me and I’ll see you for the next live blog. If there’s a specific match you’d like to see blogged, let me know @landsleaving on twitter, or just leave a comment below.

Good night, and good luck.

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