Desperate Czechs hope to avoid Greek tragedy | sports | Hindustan Times
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Desperate Czechs hope to avoid Greek tragedy

sports Updated: Jun 12, 2012 01:19 IST
Euro 2012

Greece hope that a repetition of the fighting spirit that saw them come from behind to draw 1-1 with Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland in the opening match will be enough to beat the Czech Republic tomorrow.

Victory in itself would not guarantee the Greeks a place in the last eight — even if group leaders Russia defeat Poland in the day's other match — but it would end Czech hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Greece’s never-say-die attitude is reminiscent of their style at Euro 2004, when they effectively ground their more flamboyant opponents into submission. But it has been strengthened by a desire to deliver some much-needed joy to their hard-pressed compatriots back home, who are wilting under horrendous financial hardship.

Must win

The Czechs by contrast will be looking to bounce back from their opening 4-1 drubbing by Russia and also avenge their Euro 2004 semi-final defeat by the Greeks, who shocked everyone by going on to win the tournament.

The Greeks will be without their first-choice central defensive pairing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is suspended after his harsh sending-off in the Poland match.