16th of June 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
The Czech Republic started the group stage with a disastrous 4-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, but Petr JirÃ¡ček's second-half goal against Poland pushed them to the top of the group at the end of the three match days. JirÃ¡ček bagged the decisive goal 18 minutes from time and earned his team a place in the quarter finals. As for co-hosts Poland, their tournament ends here but their fans will have plenty more great matches to watch from the stands.
Despite Poland receiving great support from the home crowd, it was the Czech team who had the first chance when Theodor Gebre Selassie's cross was deflected into the path of VÃ¡clav Pilař who wrapped it up with a terrible finish. Robert Lewandowski had a good chance at the other end but he blasted it wide. Sebastian Boenisch and Eugen Polanski also shot wide from good positions before Boenisch's good long-range effort was palmed out of harm's way by Petr Čech.
The Czechs were not doing much in the middle of the pitch but the flanks were working a lot better. Full back Gebre Selassie crossed well from the right but David LimberskÃ½ fired into the side netting. Poland were unrecognizable after the break and the Czechs were pressing forward with more and more determination. The goal appeared likely and it finally came when TomÃ¡Å¡ Hübschman played a good ball for BaroÅ¡ who passed it perfectly to JirÃ¡ček who fired past goalkeeper Tytoń. Marcin Wasilewski had a late chance for Poland but his header was cleared off the line by Kadlec.
The Czech Republic finish top of Group A with 6 points, two ahead second placed Greece. Poland ended up last with just two points while Russia finished third with four points.
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