Petr Jiracek’s 72nd minute winner leaves Poland as hosts uninvited to their own party. Who are they going to support now? An educated guess will be Germany with a number of players of Polish origin including Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose.
It all happened when Tomas Hubschmann robbed the ball from the Poles well beyond midfield before sending Milan Baros showing the legs of a 22 year old racing ahead. The former Liverpool striker then laid off for the arriving Jiracek to his left and with one side step to his right, Jiracek sent the Czechs ahead for good.
Jiracek was an obvious hero but nothing gets better than this superhuman effort by Michael Kadlec clearing the ball leaving nothing to chance. It might have been going out but Kadlec did not know at that time. A + for effort and execution.
Poland who had looked so good against Russia with the Borussia Dortmund trio shining in that match must have fancied their chances. But they were disappointing in their circumspection. The match will also be remembered for its record number of fouls, 42 of them with both teams sharing equal honours.
Group A is the classic rope a dope leaving the sucker punch for the last as both Russia and Poland crash out.