Czech Republic Euro 2016 Starts On the Wrong Foot

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Czech Republic Euro 2016 Bid Falls Short in First Match

The Czech Republic were minutes away from a earning a point in their opening fixture against Spain. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as Gerard Pique broke Czech hearts in the 87th when his header found the back of the net. A hard fought defensive effort ended in heartbreak.

Spain dominated from opening seconds. The first quality chance coming in the 16th minute, when Alvaro Morata directed David Silva’s pass right at Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech. La Roja continued their offensive onslaught throughout the first half, but were foiled by the Czech defence.

The Czech offence sputtered for much of the first half. The second half didn’t start much better. Their luck almost ran out early after the break when defender Roman Hubnik nearly put the ball in his own net. Fortunately for him it hit the post and harmlessly went out of play.

Mid-way through the second half, Czech Republic were almost rewarded for their stout defending, as Cesc Fabregas was forced to clear a very dangerous ball off a corner that was heading into the open net in front of him.

In the final ten minutes of the match it seemed that a draw was inevitable between the two sides, with nothing looking dangerous enough to break the stalemate. But then in the 87th minute, Pique found the finishing touch Spain had been looking for throughout the match. Andres Iniesta floated a beautiful ball into the box, and Pique was right there to dispatch it into the side netting.

Despite the loss it was not a complete failure for the Czech Republic. The side was vastly outclassed, but they remained resolute on defence, and almost came away with a point. Cech was terrific for them in goal and it appears they will have few problems in that regard going forward.

Heading into the crucial next match against Turkey they will have to find a way to make good on offensive opportunities. A win will increase the likelihood of advancing as a third place team, but a loss would most likely see them leaving the tournament early.

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