Czech Republic 0 hits wall against Ghana 2
After a brilliant performance against the US, the Czech Republic continued in its bid to qualify for the knock-out stage at the football World Cup. But, on Saturday things went far differently against Ghana. Forget about winning, or even eking out a tie: the Czechs were stopped dead in their tracks.
"They were very well organised and they were waiting for counter-attacks. And it became much for difficult for us. That's what happened. In the 2nd half the game was broken and they were running up and down, up and down, and they created some chances. You know, we didn't expect this result, because we wanted to play well. We wanted to earn some points, at least one, and we wanted to win. But, we have our destiny in our hands and will now try and beat Italy. That's what we're going to try to do."
What can the Czechs take or rather gain from Saturday's game? Resolve. To try and upset Italy in a surprise win. If they are to secure a definite place in the knockout stages they will have to down group favourites. Not easy at the best of times, and the team is still missing key attackers Jan Koller and Milan Baros. On Saturday Pavel Nedved admitted that their absence had already been felt:
Players like Ujfalusi and Lokvenc - who were carded - will also miss the next game. That means, once again, much of the responsibility will lie with midfielders like Pavel Nedved and Tomas Rosicky - as well as striker Marek Heinz. Can the team pull together? Fans certainly hope so.
In the end, even a tie might see the Czechs through: but everything then would depend directly on the outcome of the US/Ghana game. A loss against Italy, though, will mean it's all over.