Euro 2004: Quarter-Finals, Czech Republic 3 – Denmark 0

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
June 28th, 2004 • 10:55 pm

The ultimate outcome of this last quarter-final was hardly a surprise, and the manner in which it happened wasn’t particularly surprising either. Things were rather tentative in the first half, which ended 0-0, but after the break the Czechs were all over the Danes and the final score could have been even worse. The Danes never really threatened, and Gronkjaer in particular was his typical ineffectual self, with all kinds of runs down the side that always ended in precious little actual threat.

The Czechs, on the other hand, are looking more and more impressive. They have a potent combination in attack with the giant Koller and the deadly Baros who, on the face of his performance in this tournament, is somewhat justified to blame former Liverpool manager Gérard Houillier for his insufficient club performance.

They are backed by an excellent midfield with Nedved leading the charge and, while their defense hadn’t been overly impressive in previous games in the tournament, they have managed their first clean sheet now… And you cannot help but wonder if what we are witnessing here is not precisely a team growing in stature and confidence with every passing day, and a team that might go all the way to the end.

Of course, the early exits of France, Italy, Spain, England, and Germany have distorted the competition somewhat — but the Czechs can hardly be blamed for it. They are doing their part in quite impressive fashion, and, even after what happened with France and with all due respect to the Greeks, it’s probably not an exaggeration to bill them as the favourites to beat Greece in the semi-final in two days’ time.

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