WROCLAW – Czech Republic forward Petr Jiracek would strike at the right time in Euro 2012. In the case of co-host Poland, it was far too early.
Jiracek, a forward from Bundesliga side, VfL Wolfsburg, would score the game-winning goal for the Czech republic at the 72nd minute to sink Euro 2012 co-host Poland, 1-0 and win Group A.
For Poland, it was a game of missed opportunities as they would outshoot the Czechs 15-12 and put more shots on goal, 6-5, as Polish strikers Robert Lewandowski and Eugen Polanski would both fire wide early on.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech would help keep the Czech’s in the game by making quality saves, much to the disappointment of the boisterous home crowd.
In a wide-open game in which both sides had quality chances to score, one must give credit to the Czech Republic for making the most of it in front of a vocal pro-Poland crowd that was hoping to see their fellow countrymen advance on in Euro 2012.
Bouyed by the energy of the crowd, Poland would not allow a Czech shot on goal for 29 minutes. Once the emotional surge died down, the Czech would dictate the tempo of the match with steady runs and good pace of Vaclav Pilar, Gebre Selassie and David Limbersky.
For Poland, it is a disappointing loss for the co-hosts, who were hoping to make a good run in front of their countrymen. If there was one bright spot for Poland it was the solid and steady play of Lewandowski.
Lewandowski’s display of solid Euro 2012 play in the form of one goal, one assist and nine shots on goal, is sure to attract attention during the transfer window period for the services of the Borussia Dortmund forward.
In winning Group A, the Czech Republic will now face the runner-up from Group B, while second place Greece will face the Group B winner.
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