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EURO 2012 GROUP A: No Greek revival as Czech Republic triumph

Greece paid the price for a poor first half as they went down 2-1 against the Czech Republic despite a spirited second half fightback. The Czech Republic went into this game knowing that defeat would see them the first team to exit Euro 2012, but two goals in the opening six minutes quickly settled the nerves.

The makeshift Greek defence shorn of two experienced central defenders were wide open for both opening strikes.

Tomas Hubschman's incisive pass to Petr Jiracek was finished clinically even if keeper Kostas Chalkias did get a hand to the ball.

Moment later and it was more bad defending from the Greek rearguard, this time allowing Theodor Gebre Selassie to cross low and hard for Vaclav Pilar to scramble home.

Chalkias then had to go off injured and be replaced in goal as the Czech's attacked at will but the Greeks misery was complete in the final minute of the first half as Giorgos Fotakis had a headed goal ruled out for the most marginal of offsides.

But the Czech Republic handed Greece a lifeline early after the break.

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech failed to collect a routine cross allowing Theofanis Gekas to roll the ball into an open net. Now it was the Greece who looked confident as the Czech's began to look nervy at the back.

But press as they might the Greece lacked the guile to break down their opponents defence and fell to only a second defeat in 23 games.

Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Venue: Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Attendance: 41,000

Greece scorers: Gekas 53 Czech Republic scorers: Jiracek 3, Pilar 6

Yellow cards: Torosidis (GRE), Rosicky (CZE), Jiracek (CZE), K Papadopoulos (GRE), Salpingidis (GRE)

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Dave Williams

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