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Fast-Starting Czechs Earn 2-1 Victory Over Greece

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Two early goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar helped the Czech Republic to a 2-1 victory over Greece in a tense Euro 2012 match on Tuesday.

Two early goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar helped the Czech Republic to a 2-1 victory over Greece in a tense Euro 2012 match on Tuesday.

The result keeps both teams' qualifying hopes alive, regardless of the result of Tuesday' second Group A match between Russia and co-hosts Poland, which was preceded by serious clashes between fans and police in Warsaw.

Jiracek scored the third minute opener with a placed shot after a through ball Tomas Hubschmann put him one-on-one with Greek goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias.

The Czech delivered a second blow to the 2004 champions just four minutes later when Vaclav Pilar finished the counterattack with a volley into the net from between two Greek defenders in the penalty area.

Second-half substitute Theofanis Gekas made advantage of the sudden grave mistake of Petr Cech, hitting the empty net on the 53 minute, as the Czech goalkeeper left the goal and failed to catch a seemingly easy cross.

The Czechs could have made it 3-0 on 29 minutes were it not for Greek goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis, a substitute for the injured Chalkias, who stopped Tomas Rosicky's long-range shot.

The assistant referee stopped Greek celebrations on 39 minutes, signalling a narrow offside decision after Georgios Fotakis headed the ball into the net, following Vasilis Torosidis' cross, in the first serious Greek attempt on goal.

The Greeks recovered in the second half, as in their 1-1 opening draw with Poland, and put pressure on the opponents after Gekas scored, but were unable to translate their possession into chances.

Greece: Kostas Chalkias (Michalis Sifakis, 23), Vasilis Torosidis, Jose Holebas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Giorgos Karagounis, Kostas Katsouranis, Kostas Fortounis (Kostas Mitroglou, 71), Giannis Maniatis, Dimitris Salpigidis, Georgios Samaras, Georgios Fotakis (Theofanis Gekas, 46)

Czech Republic: Petr Cech, Tomas Sivok, Michal Kadlec, Theodor Gebre Selassie, David Limbersky, Tomas Rosicky (Daniel Kolar, 46 (Frantisek Rajtoral, 90)), Tomas Hubschman, Petr Jiracek, Milan Baros (Tomas Pekhart, 74), Jaroslav Plasil, Vaclav Pilar

 

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