The Czechs came out firing. Mt.Everest Koller was in sparkling form. Sionko and Grygera swinging crosses at the tall striker.
Czechs score in the first half and then again in the 2nd half.
2-0 and 15 minutes to go. Turks are truly out of this.. not a bad guess. Only that we forget the Czechs are big-time chokes.
Look at WC 2006. They spanked the US in the first game, only to lose their next two to Italy and Cote d'Ivore in bizarre fashion to crash out of the cup.
Going back to Euro 2004 they lost to a silver goal of the Greeks in the last minute of 1st extra time!
Further back to 96 they lost to the golden goal of the 3-week wonder striker Oliver Bierhoff of Germany.
History repeated itself for the Czechs and the poor old Bruckner who is retiring after the Euro.
Arda Turan, the man that revived Turkish hopes against the Swiss scored in the 76th minute. Suddenly the Turks are firing on all cylinders and the resolute back four of Czech Republic started wobbling.
Fouls, more fouls and the cards. and then the GK Cech drops a cross at the feet of Nihat, the lethal but grossly underestimated striker who plays for Villareal(vaya submarino :)).
And then Nihat scores a superb goal in the 89th minute to avoid penalties!!!
There was more drama to follow.
Turkish GK is sent off for a 2nd yellow for timewasting. But Turkey had made all the 3 substitutions by then. One of the Outfield players had to don the keeper gloves for a minute or so. Imagine the surreal mess had the Czechs scored a 3rd and took it to penalties. But the Czechs had lost it by then. They just choked.
Croatia faces Turkey in 4 days. I think they will be careful of the Turkish resilience. In all the 3 games they showed great spirit in coming back from a deficit, eventhough they didnt score against Portugal in the opener, the played a better 2nd half than the Portuguese on the opening day.
Swiss get their first win in Euros when the beat a 2nd string Portugal team. None of the big stars for Portugal played the game and sometimes this sort of things can hurt the momentum of the team. But I dont think that is the case with this Portuguese team.
But their most likely opponent in the next round is Germany, who have to beat the hosts in Vienna tomorrow!