Greece is the word, but Czech pride undented
Ten thousand Czech fans on Prague's Old Town Square cheered "Hosi dekujem" - "thanks boys" - at the end of a match that broke Czech hearts. David Vaughan joined fans on the square just as the Czech's dramatic semi final against Greece in Euro 2004 began:
Who is your favourite player?
"Baros, Pavel Nedved. All of them are pretty good."
And you're not worried that the Greeks as outsiders might surprise us tonight?
"They won't. We are going to surprise them."
You're here in your kilts. Are you cheering for the Czechs tonight?
Scottish fans: "Of course we are. Definitely. The Czechs have got to win. It'll be 3-1."
Don't you feel a bit intimidated here tonight?
Greek fan: "No, I'm surrounded by people who will protect me tonight..."
Scottish fans: "...big Scotsmen!"
Czech hopes dashed
But the outsiders Greece were always going to be tough opposition. On Thursday night, true to form under their German coach Otto Rehhagel, the Greeks played a tight defensive game, shackling the Czech attack, even after a thrilling moment when Tomas Rosicky hit the crossbar in the third minute.
The Czechs turned the screw in the second half, with chances from Jakulovsky and Koller, but after ninety minutes there was still no score.
In extra time, the Greeks seemed to go into a different gear, as if to prove that they don't just know how to defend as many claim, and in the end their determination bore fruit. Just seconds before the whistle, Trainos Dellas headed a brilliant corner past Czech goalie, Petr Cech.
Fan 1: [manic laugh] "I feel very bad."
It's a shock?
Fan 1: "Very shock! I can't believe it."
This is a scene of devastation. I don't think I've ever seen the Old Town Square empty so fast. How do you feel?
Fan 2: "Disappointed."
Do you think the team should have played differently?
Fan 2: "No, they did their best."
It was just bad luck?
Fan 2: "Yes."
You'd better not say that too loudly... And you've got a very small Greek flag, which you're not waving very prominently.
Greek fan: "It's the biggest I could get away with."
English fan: "We feel for you. We supported the Czechs. We bought these shirts so that on Sunday, when you got to the final, we could have gone to our local pub and supported the Czechs."
Fan 3: [drunkenly waving a large Czech flag] "I feel happy! We didn't win, but I'm happy!"
You think it doesn't matter in the end?
Fan 3: "Yes, I don't mind."