Op-Ed: The Czechs through, Poland out from EURO 2012 Football Tournament
The Czech striker, Petr Jiráček, was not only a single hero by scoring the advancing goal to 2012 Euro Soccer Tournament quarter-finals.
His team deserves all the good credits for wise tactics that features a very good team of sport professionals that starts a multiple game tournament.
As it was expected, the Polish national soccer team, backed up by its own fans and the home stadium in Wroclaw, started relentless attacks in the first quarter of the game. Polish forwards were furiously attacking the Czechs goalkeeper. There was a hanging in the air impression that they would soon sweep away the Czechs defence men and their shots would inevitably find their way to the net.
Once this didn’t happen in the first 15-20 minutes, it didn’t have more chances to happen afterwards. Why? Soccer is a game that can be easily compared with classic military battlefield. For if the ground troops don’t have any support from the air forces, nobody will ever advance virtually anywhere. Only occasional and unexpected attacks may be fruitful, if any.
Polish forwards didn’t have any support from the players who were responsible to take over the midfield and directing the game from there. That was the main reason why the Polish strikers lost their storming power from the first 20 minutes of the game.
The Czechs calmed down the game by the end of the first half an hour and slowly took over the midfield which nobody from Polish players claimed for good to direct and distribute the ball to their benefit, either forward or backward, wherever necessary. The Czechs' left forward, Pilař (no. 14), more and more threatened the Polish defence and was winning his personal battles with Polish defence man Polanski who couldn’t stop the Czech’s brilliant dribbler. Polanski was too slow to stop Pilař and after being booked with the yellow card he had to be replaced by Grosicki. This change didn’t bring any good results as the Czechs changed their tactics. This was another key point of the game that contributed to the Czechs final victory in the game.
Once having taken over the midfield and controlling it thoroughly, they now could afford to reshuffle their key strikers. Still aggressively playing Petr Jiráček from the right forward went unexpectedly to the left side of the field what may have caused a lot of confusion to more and more tired Polish defence men.
A short counter attack in the mid field in the 71st minute with Petr Jiráček, now playing on the left, after a few passes, opened a narrow space to precisely shift the ball to the Polish net. It passed over the stretched arm of Polish gollie, Tytoń, who so far played his excellent game in front of the net and really contributed to the team’s lesser loss.
The remaining 20 minutes of the game might have brought the change of the result but the both sides seemed to be too tired. Occasional Polish attacks seemed to have been impacted by the time both teams spent for the game without really believing to change the final result.
The TV signal to Canada from the game was provided by TSN and in Toronto studio the always valuable comments were done by Jason deVos who has commented previous football events in the past.