WROCLAW, POLAND - JUNE 12: Petr Jiracek of Czech Republic celebrates scoring the opening goal with David Limbersky of Czech Republic during the UEFA EURO 2012 group A match between Greece and Czech Republic at The Municipal Stadium on June 12, 2012 in Wroclaw, Poland. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Greece Vs. Czech Republic: Greeks In Dire Straits After Loss

Greece are in bad shape in Euro 2012 after losing 2-1 to the Czech Republic.

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Greece Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Final Score, Czechs Hold On For 2-1 Win

The Czech Republic turned in a truly awful showing in their first match of Euro 2012, but they've recovered and given themselves an excellent chance to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. They were outplayed by Greece in the second half on Tuesday, but did enough to hold on to their early lead in a 2-1 win.

It took just eight minutes for the Czech Republic to take a 2-0 lead in the match, making them the fastest team to ever score two goals in the European Championships. Petr Jiracek netted the first goal in the 3rd minute, finishing off a fantastic through ball by defensive midfielder Tomas Hubschman. They added their second goal five minutes after that, with Vaclav Pilar turning in a pass that Gabriele Selassie cut back from the endline.

The Czechs dodged a couple of bullets before the halftime whistle to go into the break with a two-goal lead and 11 men. Tomas Rosicky was only shown a yellow card for a high boot to the head of Giorgos Karagounis, while Giorgios Fotakis had a goal narrowly disallowed for offside.

Greece had to bring off keeper Kostas Chalkias due to an injury in the first half, and made their second sub of the game at halftime, bringing on striker Theofanis Gekas for Fotakis. The Czech Republic made a halftime switch of their own, likely for fitness reasons, bringing on Daniel Kolar for Rosicky.

It took just eight minutes of play for Greece's substitution to pay off with a goal, though the chance was created much more by a Czech Republic error than any kind of brilliant play executed by Gekas. On a cross into the box that didn't look particularly dangerous, Petr Cech and Tomas Sivok had a bit of a miscommunication and clattered into each other as Cech tried to claim the ball. That left an empty net for Gekas to shoot the ball into, bringing Greece back into the match.

The Greeks looked decent going forward from then until the end of the match and played with much more ambition than they did in any of their previous three halves in the tournament, but failed to generate clear-cut chances. The Czech defense and Petr Cech played very well from their bad 53rd minute error until the end of the game, keeping their team's lead intact. Gekas' shot would be Greece's only shot on target in the match.

Both teams now await the result of the match between Russia and Poland to see what they will need to do in their final group stage match to advance to the quarterfinals. Greece will need a win over Russia no matter what, but the Czechs might only need a draw against Poland depending on what happens.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Greece vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

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Greece Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Czechs 2-0 Ahead After 10 Minutes

The narrative tells us that Greece are an ultra-defensive team. The narrative is wrong. Greece are an ultra bad team. You can tell because a) they can't defend worth beans and b) they play Georgios Samara in attack. The first point of the previous sentence has been demonstrated pretty thoroughly by the Czech Republic, who scored twice in the opening six minutes, banishing the memories of their humiliation by Russia in the process.

The first goal game exactly two minutes and twenty seconds in as a run from Petr Jirocek completely baffled the Greek defence, allowing Tomas Hubschman to play in an inch-perfect through ball that Jirocek finished past a stranded Kostas Chalkias. Tomas Rosicky obviously felt as though he was missing out on the through-ball party, because three minutes later her played in a brilliant pass to Theodor Gebre Selassie, who blitzed beyond Jose Holebas and crossed for Vaclav Pilar to scramble home.

So, yeah. 2-0. Good luck with that, Greece.


Greece Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Lineups

The Czech Republic could be eliminated from Group A of Euro 2012 by the end of this match. That's not how it's supposed to go, of course - they might have been hammered by Russia but should still have the quality to beat Greece - but their opponents have been tearing up the narrative by being really really pants at defending and looking quite neat on the attack. Both teams have made changes, with Greece having to reshuffle their centre back pairing and accommodate Dimitris Salpingidis up front, while the Czechs have dropped Jan Rezek and Roman Hubnik to the bench.

Greece (4-3-3): Kostas Chalkias; Jose Holebas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Kostas Katsouranis, Vasilis Torosidis; Giorgos Karagounis, Giannis Maniatis, Giorgos Fotakis; Georgios Samaras, Konstantinos Fortounis, Dimitris Salpingidis.

Czech Republic (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; David Limbersky, Michal Kadlac, Tomas Sivok, Theodor Gebre Selassie; Jaroslav Plasil, Tomas Hubschman; Vaclav Pilar, Tomas Rosicky, Petr Jiracek; Milan Baros.

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