Czechs still haunted by Euro 2004 Greece defeat
Eight year later, the Czech Republic is still haunted by the
Silver Goal scored by Greece in the 2004 semifinals.
Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky, one of three players at
this year’s European Championship who was in the 2004 squad, has
called it the most bitter moment of his international career.
”It was the most painful loss for me with the national team,”
said Rosicky, who has made 86 international appearances since 2000.
”We had no chance to come back.”
In 2004, the eventual champion Greeks scored seconds from the
end of the first 15 minutes of extra time, sending the team through
to the final and forcing the Czechs to head home.
After losing to Russia 4-1 on Friday at Euro 2012, the Czechs
need a win over Greece on Tuesday at the Municipal Stadium in
Wroclaw to have a chance of advancing from Group A.
”We have no other option than to beat Greece,” said Czech
Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech, another veteran of the 2004
That may not be an easy task. The 2004 European champions, who
drew 1-1 with Poland in their opener, remain reliant on a solid
defense, conceding only five goals in qualifying and not a single
one in the previous three goalless draws in regulation against the
Goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis indicated that Greece would go on
the attack in its next game as it bids for a place in the
”We’ve studied our opponents,” Sifakis said. ”We look at the
opener as losing two points as much as earning one. We are now
chasing a win on Tuesday.”
Neither team is considered to be a title contender in Poland and
The Czechs are rebuilding after the retirement of several
long-serving internationals, including all-time leading scorer Jan
Koller, Pavel Nedved and Karel Poborsky. And Czech Republic coach
Michal Bilek has little time to fix his porous back line after
Russia’s mobile forwards tore it apart.
But at least, Bilek has two of his major stars, striker Milan
Baros and Rosicky, fit and ready after recovering from
The Greeks, already missing two key defenders, were hit by
another setback on Sunday when Giorgos Fotakis pulled out of
training with a right thigh injury.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended and Avraam Papadopoulos
is out for the rest of the tournament with a left knee injury.