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Czech Republic stun hosts Poland 1-0, top Group A

(Xinhua)

08:19, June 18, 2012

Jakub Blaszczykowski (C) of Poland vies with Petr Cech (L) and David Limbersky of Czech Republic during their Group A 3rd round match at the Euro 2012 football championships in Wroclaw, Poland, June 16, 2012. Poland lost 0-1. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

WROCLAW, Poland, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The Czech Republic stunned hosts Poland 1-0 here on Saturday, roaring into the Euro 2012 quarterfinals as the Group A winners.

Czech midfielder Petr Jiracek scored the winner in the 71st minute when he beat Poland's keeper Przemyslav Tyton after a brilliant hold-up work from forward Milan Baros.

Jiracek was named the Man of the Match. He said after the game that all Czech players were very happy to go through to the quarterfinals.

Czech coach Michal Bilek told the press conference, "We expected to get the second place but in the end we topped the group. It is unbelievable and fantastic. Today we knew a draw was not enough."

Poland, who tied 1-1 with Greece and Russia respectively, could have made history to win a match in the European championships and topped the group if they beat the Czechs.

The Czech skipper and playmaker Tomas Rosicky was not in the starting 11 due to injury, which raised high hope of Poland's win.

Bilek said,"Rosicky is a key player. But we can play without him and it is not the first time we play without him."

Poland dominated the first half and created many scoring chances. But all their shots were saved by Czech keeper Petr Cech or went wide.

In the 15th minute, Poland's No. 1 striker Robert Lewandowski won the ball off Czech defender Tomas Sivok, passing to Jakub Blaszczykowski who laid off right to Euqen Polanski. The midfielder hammered a shot wide. It was the best chance for Poland in the first half.

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