The Czech Republic registered their first win of the Euro 2012 after a 2-1 defeat of Euro 2004 champions Greece, at Wroclaw on Tuesday. The Czechs took command early on, with two goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar and held on, despite the Grecians snatching one back, to keep their hopes of a quarter-final berth alive. They lost their first game 1-4 to Russia.
The Czechs scored after only three minutes, when Jiracek fired a powerful left-footed shot off an excellent Tomas Hubschman assist. Goal keeper Kostas Chalkias was able to get a hand to the shot but was unable to prevent the goal. The second goal followed almost immediately after. Chalkias made a terrible mistake when he failed to stop a low cross from Theodor Gebre Selassie in the sixth minute. The ball in was picked up and easily converted by Pilar.
Pilar later nearly hit a third for the Czechs as he dribbled past the defence and got into a very good position at the edge of the box. However, the 23 year old Wolfsburg winger put the shot wide.
The Greeks' first effort on goal came through Celtic striker Georgios Samaras but he was unable to properly connect with Vassilis Torosidis' cross. The game went from bad to worse for the former champions, with keeper Chalkias being forced off, after 21 minutes, due to an injury. He was replaced by Michalis Sifakis.
The Czech continued to dominate the game and captain Tomas Rosicky forced a good save off Sifakis from a very well directed low shot.
Greece finally managed to find the net, after 40 minutes, thanks to a header by Georgios Fotakis off a Torosidis cross. The goal was ruled out as offside but replays showed it may not have been so.
Greece did score again, in the 53rd minute, after Chelsea goal keeper Petr Cech made a huge error by unnecessarily rushing to a long ball and failing to collect, after being distracted by Tomas Sivok. Substitute Theofanis Gekas was left with empty net and he made no mistake.
Although the Greeks started to exercise some dominance in the latter stages of the game, they were not able to create many chances to test the Czechs, who managed to keep their nerves and hold on to their lead.