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Czechs check on penalty-takers for historic clash

SoccerNews in European Championships 14 Jun 2008

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Czech Republic captain Tomas Ujfalusi insisted his side will win Sunday's crucial Euro 2008 clash against Turkey whether that will be over the 90 minutes or through an historic penalty shoot-out.

Having won their opening Group A game against Switzerland, but having lost last Wednesday's match with Portugal 3-1, the Czechs must now beat Turkey here on Sunday to stay in the competition.

Both sides have identical records with three points in Group A, having scored two goals, conceded three.

And should the match be level after 90 minutes for the first time in the tournament's history the match will be decided on penalties with no extra-time played.

The Czechs have practised taking penalties and the five men who will shoulder the responsibility will be chosen on Saturday night said Bruckner.

But Athletico Madrid defender Ujfalusi says his side are determined to take their place in the quarter-finals by whatever means.

“I don't even think it is important whether our performance is good enough, we just need to win,” said the 30-year-old.

“Whether we win over 90 minutes or the penalty shoot-out doesn't matter, we just have to make sure we do all we can to make the quarter-finals.”

The knock-out stages have come early for both sides with the winners progressing while the losers go home, but Ujfalusi insists that is no problem for his side.

“I think both teams do not feel anything special about the game, we both want to make it through to the knock-out stage.

“It's not the first time we have played in such a pressure game, we all play that sort of match in our respective leagues, so we know what to expect.”

Czech coach Karel Bruckner has said he will not alter the line-up from the team who lost to Portugal here last Wednesday, meaning ex-Liverpool striker Milan Baros will play up front at the expense of towering forward Jan Koller.

“There are many areas we need to improve on compared to the Portugal game, both in defence and attack,” said Bruckner.

“This third match will see an improvement from us in terms of both those areas.

“The penalty shoot-out is the matter of a last resort, we have players in our squad who will be able to step up.”

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