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Poland, Czech Republic meet for quarter-final spot

Posted By: Pti
Poland, Czech Republic meet for quarter-final spot
Wroclaw, Jun 15: With a place in the quarter-finals at stake, Poland is ready to make history against the Czech Republic in their Euro 2012 Group A clash at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw.

The Euro 2012 co-hosts will be seeking their first victory of the tournament -- and first quarter-final berth ever at the European Championships -- tomorrow at the Municipal Stadium following a pair of 1-1 draws against Greece and Russia in Group A.

"It's going to be a mini final for us," Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski said. "It'll be the biggest match in the recent past for all of us."

The Czechs are one point ahead of Poland after beating Greece 2-1 to revive their chances of advancing following an opening 4-1 loss to Russia. A win for either team would put them through. The Czechs, however, could be missing captain Tomas Rosicky because of an Achilles tendon injury.

While the Polish attacking trio of Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund including Blaszczykowski, Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek have created most of their chances and a serious threat for the Czechs back-line. Poland do have an advantage playing in their own den but their neighbours are confident with four points already in their bag.

The hooliganism that took place around Poland's emotionally charged match against Russia on Tuesday is not expected to be repeated Saturday. Unlike the Poland-Russia relations that are tense due to a bitter and bloody history, the Poles have an easier relationship with their southern Slavonic neighbours and have treated them accordingly.

The mayor of Wroclaw, where the Czechs are based and play all three group matches, hosted a lunch for the team at City Hall and thousands of Polish fans attended open training sessions, cheering the Czech players and applauding every goal in practice matches.


Story first published: Friday, June 15, 2012, 12:30 [IST]
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