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Bye bye Nedved - Czechs the first side to be out

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An extract from Yahoo! World soccer:

With six points from two games, the French are now almost certain of a place in the last eight while the Czechs, beaten finalists at Euro 96, have only a slim chance of avoiding going home after the first round group stage.

France, who were beaten by the Czechs in the semifinals four years ago after a penalty shootout, were stopped from playing the same kind of fluent football which they displayed against the Danes.

For a while at the start of the second half, the Czechs looked capable of handing the French their first defeat for a year.

The world champions needed some luck with their first goal. Gabriel gave the ball away to Henry 20 metres from goal and the in-form forward took his chance, sprinting into the right of the box and slotting the ball into the far left-hand corner.

After Henry had scored what was his second goal of the competition, he had a superb chance to put his side further ahead in the 18th minute when a Zinedine Zidane pass left him clear on the left side of the box. But the forward blasted the ball past the right-hand post.


The Czechs tried to play most of their football from too deep and, upset by the French pressing, they kept losing the ball before they got within striking distance although Poborsky was very busy in midfield and a constant danger.

In the 35th minute the Euro 96 finalists got some luck when captain Didier Deschamps brought down Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved. The initial contact appeared to be outside the area but Poborsky had no problem making sure from the spot.

Before the penalty, the Czechs had had few real chances apart from a Nedved shot in the second minute which French 'keeper Fabien Barthez could only punch away.

But after the goal they lifted their game. Poborsky went close just before the break and at the start of the second half, Nedved forced Barthez to make another good save.

But Djorkaeff's goal was a killer blow.
:( :( :(

So no more Czechs in Euro 2000 - yet actually with the display they've shown in their 2 matches they deserve more than going out in the 1st round. But football is also about luck, and the Czechs are certainly lacking it in Euro 2000.
And Patrik Berger hadn't even had the chance to play :(

Nedved has been excellent in the first match :) , and light injury prevented him from repeating the same performance in the match against France. Yet he was still capable of making some threats. Also, he and Nemec did a good job in the midfield as the Frenchs managed to do their attacks mostly from the wing.

Still, it wasn't to be. The Czechs are out, (almost) everything has gone wrong for me in Euro 2000... I hope this heartbreak won't last that long, but I'm feeling totally miserable right now.

-- Nedved! in mourning :( :( --
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