Czechs through to quarterfinals, Poland out
Poland slumped out of Uefa Euro 2012™ on Saturday after losing 1-0 to the Czech Republic who reach the quarterfinals as Group A winners after a game in which the co-hosts will rue a host of early missed chances.
The Czechs, without injured captain Tomas Rosicky, took the lead in the 72nd minute when Petr Jiracek took a pass from Milan Baros and jinked away from a defender before slotting past keeper Przemyslaw Tyton for his second goal of the tournament.
The Czechs advance with Greece, who upset Russia 1-0 in Warsaw, and will play the runners-up of Group B.
Poland, roared on by the home crowd and needing a win to go through, started the game at a furious pace and will regret their profligacy after missing several chances to go ahead.
The Czechs were fortunate when a sloppy back pass left striker Robert Lewandowski with a chance but he skewed his effort off target under pressure from Theodor Gebre Selassie.
Clearly missing their playmaker Rosicky, the Czechs eventually settled down after a nervy opening 15 minutes and began putting the Polish defence under pressure with Vaclav Pilar providing a threat down the wing most of the night.
The Czechs started the second half strongly knowing they needed a goal to book a quarterfinal ticket with Pilar causing all sorts of headaches with his runs at the defence.
The pressure finally paid off with Jiracek's neat finish after a pass from much-criticised forward Milan Baros who played his best game of the tournament so far.
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Poland frantically poured forward in search of an equaliser to keep their hopes alive but the Czechs defended in waves and held on to advance to the last eight.