Jiracek sends co-hosts Poland crashing out

Czech Republic 1 Poland 0

Petr Jiracek's second-half goal ensured the Czech Republic squeaked into the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 as co-hosts Poland suffered an early exit.

Outplayed for the majority of the first half, the Czechs were seemingly stung into action after Greece took a half-time lead against Russia in the other Group A game in Warsaw.

That result left Michal Bilek's men needing all three points to reach the last eight and after dominating the tempo after the interval, Jiracek's calm finish ensured they topped the group, with Russia and Poland the eliminated teams.

Poland knew nothing less than a win would see them reach the knockout stages at the expense of the Czech Republic, who also needed three points to guarantee their qualification for the last eight.

Similar to their previous two matches, Poland were understandably backed by boisterous home support and they nearly gave them something to shout about early on but Dariusz Dudka's overhead kick hit the side netting.

Yet they should have been behind soon after and were grateful for Vaclav Pilar completely fluffing his lines in front of goal after Theodor Gebre Selassie had picked him out with a low ball into the area.

The frenetic start continued, with Poland midfielder Ludovic Obraniak's free-kick from a narrow angle hitting the side netting once more while Robert Lewandowski should have done better after slicing horribly wide with a decent sight at goal.

It seemed only a matter of time that the Czech Republic defence would be breached and goalkeeper Petr Cech had to be at his best to push away Sebastian Boenisch's dipping 30-yard effort.

With the rain teeming down in Wroclaw, the action slowed down a touch although the Czechs, who beat Greece after losing to Russia, ended the half well.

Milan Baros, after beating the offside trap, failed to control David Limbersky's chip over the defence while Pilar's powerful strike from the edge of the area was gathered by Polish keeper Przemyslaw Tyton at the second attempt.

As the teams trudged off at the interval it was the Czechs who would be going through but Greece taking a shock lead on the stroke of half-time against Russia meant both the Czech Republic and Poland needed victory if the result in Warsaw stayed the same.

Spurred into action the Czechs responded positively, dominating possession in the early stages of the second half but failing to create any clear cut chances.

However, Poland were conceding needless free-kicks on the edge of their area and were nearly made to pay for their reckless defending.

Plasil's excellent delivery found Tomas Sivok but his header was blocked and then instantly punched away by Tyton.

The Czechs were rewarded for their second-half persistence in the 72nd minute as Jiracek gave them a deserved lead.

Baros ran through on goal before sliding the ball to Jiracek, who cut past Boenisch and coolly slotted past Tyton.

Poland head coach Franciszek Smuda threw caution to the wind, bringing on Pawel Brozek and Adrian Mierzejewski immediately after but they failed to test Cech although the Czech Republic defended stoutly.

However, in injury time Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski went through on goal and lifted the ball over Cech only for Tomas Sivok to head off the line, with the final whistle blown immediately after to herald scenes of jubilation from Bilek's men.

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice