Monday, March 20, 2023

Fourth-time unlucky for Czech ´keeper Cech

SoccerNews in European Championships 16 Jun 2008


Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said Sunday night's shock 3-2 defeat by come-back kings Turkey summed up his unlucky season after missing out on three titles with the Blues.

Having seen Chelsea lose the Champions League final in Moscow last month, as well as miss out on both the English League Cup and the Premier League titles in 2008, Cech said the Turkish defeat here added to his unlucky season.

“That game really sums up my season, especially after losing out on three trophies for Chelsea in the final games,” said Cech.

The shot-stopper admited his side were devastated by their Euro 2008 exit and he was partly to blame as a 2-0 advantage slipped as Turkey reached the quarter-finals at the Czech Republic's expense.

Karel Bruckner's team were cruising into the last eight with 15 minutes left thanks to goals by striker Jan Koller and winger Jaroslav Plasil.

But Turkey began the fight-back thanks to Arda Turan's low drive on 75 minutes and when Cech fumbled a high cross, Turkey Nihat Kahveci pounced on the effor to equalise three minutes from time.

And the Villarreal forward completed the greatest of escapes when he galloped clear to send Turkey through with a spectacular finish on 89 minutes to break Czech hearts.

“We came so close, but blew it in the end,” said Cech.

“We are absolutely devastated.

“It's hard to believe what just happened, we felt we were in control of the game.

“Jan [Koller] gave us the lead and when we went two goals up there did not seem any way back for Turkey.

“However, they got the first and their tails seemed to go up and then I made a mistake for the second and suddenly they were back in the game.

“At least at that point it seemed like penalties and we were still in with a chance, but then Nihat broke clear and scored an incredible goal. I had no chance.”

And Cech blamed the slippery ball in wet conditions at the Stade de Geneve for his error which led to the second goal.

“It's just one of those things,” he said.

“Everybody makes mistakes and I am a human being.

“I tried my best but there was a lot of water on the ball and it slipped from my grasp.”

The Czech's defeat was also the last game in charge for veteran coach Bruckner and striker Jan Koller, who scored his 55th international goal while winning his 90th cap on Sunday.


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