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Cech relieved by crucial win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Jun 2012

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Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech hailed his team’s efforts on Saturday after they defeated Poland to reach the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

The Czech Republic started the day looking like they would need just a point to reach the last eight, but Greece took the lead against Russia on the stroke of half-time, meaning victory over Poland became imperative.

Petr Jiracek scored the all-important goal on 72 minutes, and Cech, who had made an uncharacteristic blunder in the previous Group A match against Greece, was pleased his side did not have to rely on results elsewhere.

“We started badly and let the occasion get to us a little bit,” the Chelsea shot-stopper told reporters after the game.

“The home side capitalised on our mistakes.

“But with time we got better. We created chances and then scored a deserved goal.

“We knew the result (of Greece v Russia). They told us and we could see it on a screen, but we focused on ourselves, decided not to wait for miracles and to score ourselves instead.”

The Czech Republic finished the first round on top of Group A, meaning with second-placed Greece joining them in the quarter-finals.

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