The Czech Republic made history today by becoming the fastest team to score two goals in European Championship history.  It took just over six minutes for them to find the net twice thanks to the combined efforts of Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar.  Greece's early game defending was found to be lacking once again, and the Czechs, following the example of Russia, took full advantage.


What began as a hopeful affair for Greece soon deteriorated into panic and confusion as the Czech Republic dictated play well.  After enjoying possession in the midfield, the Greek defense was soon dissected by a Tomas Hubschman pass that caught Kyriakos Papadopoulos out of position.  Petr Jiracek collected the pass in stride and fired a left footed shot that deflected off of Greek keeper Kostas Chalkias into the goal. Before some fans had even found their seats the score was 1-0 in favor of the Czechs.


Problems grew worse for the Greek defense when Theodor Gebre Selassie was played down the right side by Tomas Rosicky and slid a pass in front of goal.  Vaclav Pilar broke in front of two hapless Greek defenders and managed to get a finishing touch to the pass while being taken down.  Just like that the Czech Republic had made history and were in excellent position to rebound from their opening match embarrassment at the hands of Russia.

Following the goals, the Czech midfield conceded more possession to their Greek counterparts, but the unit that was overrun by the Russians remained strong throughout the first half.  The woes continued for Greece when just over twenty minutes into the match, goalkeeper Chalkias picked up a back injury.  Michail Sifakis entered the match for the injured Chalkias and he was tested five minutes later by a Tomas Rosicky effort from distance.  The newly introduced keeper responded well, parrying the effort away for a corner.

The main Greek attacking tactic utilized throughout the match was long balls focused to Greek strikers, Georgios Samaras and opening match hero Dimitris Salpingidis.  These efforts were constantly thwarted by the formidable Czech defense, but the Greeks were not deterred and continued this tactic throughout the match.


Petr Cech continued his history of goalkeeping howlers in the European Championships by fumbling a low cross in the 54th minute that fell to the feet of Theofanis Gekas.  The Greek striker calmly finished, exploiting Cech's mistake and giving Greece a way back into the match.  Petr Cech apologized to his defenders and assured his commitment to the cause following the gaffe.

Theodor Gebre Selassie was a constant nuisance to the Greek defense, attacking down the right side with skill and pace.  His efforts that contributed to the second Czech goal continued through the second half despite many of his teammates holding off on his attacking ventures forward.  Overall he turned in a fantastic performance.

Greece's long ball efforts continued right until the final whistle, but their frustration grew for them as time drew closer to the conclusion.  Their repetitive crosses intended for Samaras or Gekas were routinely headed away by the towering Tomas Sivok.  The Czechs made halfhearted efforts at a counter-attack, fully content to see out the 2-1 victory.  The rather boring second half concluded and the Czech Republic celebrated a well earned victory.