Czech Republic news

Bilek delighted with Czech progress

Czechs top group as Russia go home

ESPN staff

Michal Bilek celebrates Czech Republic's win over Poland© AP Images

Czech Republic coach Michal Bilek believes his side deserve to be in the quarter-finals after they recovered from an opening day thrashing at the hands of Russia to top Group A.

- Group permutations

The Czechs looked like they could be the whipping boys of the group after Alan Dzagoev inspired Russia to a 4-1 win, but victories over Greece and co-hosts Poland saw them top the group while Russia are on the plane home.

“We knew that Greece had scored a goal and told the players to be patient and to be attentive at the back,” he said. “There were situations that weren't 100% but we could counter-attack because they opened their defence and one of the breaks brought the goal so we are very happy.

“We are really, really very satisfied because we beat a team that were playing at home. They had played two fantastic matches prior to tonight and were favourites coming into this match.

“I think we weren't good for the first 25 minutes, we couldn't get into the game but then we improved and I think we were the better side in the second half. We were patient, we waited for the chance and the chance came, we scored the goal and then we fought on.

“We lost the first match and the situation was very difficult but the guys showed their morale and I'm very happy that we played this game and I think we deserved to go through.''


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