Czechs 'cheated death' at Euros, media say
The Czech Republic "cheated death" when they beat Greece 2-1 on Tuesday to keep their hopes of advancing to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals alive, Czech media said Wednesday.
"This team likes it the hard way," said the Sport daily, praising the team for showing "great inner strength, its greatest quality".
After a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Russia last Friday, the Czechs came back with the win over Greece after scoring twice in the first six minutes.
But the victory was nowhere near a smooth one -- the Czechs lost their creative star and captain Tomas Rosicky at halftime and conceded shortly afterwards spent the second half under heavy pressure.
"For every 20-30 minutes of beauty that our team offers, we have to pay twice as much with nerves, suffering and despairing looks at the clock," says Sport.
But "the Czechs cheated death after the drama," it says, adding a lacklustre performance from Greece helped as the Czech team "is unlikely to meet another team with such mediocre offensive skills."
"This is the way to recover hope," says the Blesk tabloid.
Czech coach Michal Bilek "was frying in fiery criticism but managed to escape again."
"He didn't make big changes in the line-up, but the Czechs looked like a different team," says Blesk.
The Lidove noviny broadsheet runs a front-page picture of jubilant players under a headline saying "Czechs Back In Play."
"A write-off team has become one that deserves applause. The Czechs are past a positive change that many did not believe," says the daily.
The Czechs, facing co-hosts Poland in the last Group A game on Saturday, need a win to secure a quarter-final berth, but they may be happy with a draw if Greece does not beat Russia on the same day.
"A lucky victory," says the DNES broadsheet, recalling how the Czechs took a 2-0 lead against Turkey at Euro 2008 but lost 3-2 and went home as the Turks equalised following a blunder from Czech keeper Petr Cech.
On Tuesday, "even the most forgetful fans must have recalled this game" as the Chelsea keeper let an easy cross fall through his hands to Greek striker Fanis Gekas who scored easily.
"It happened again, at Euro, during a game that looked so promising," DNES says, adding: "Fortunately, this was a different story."
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