The Czech Republic recovered from their opening day thumping by Russia to take all three points in a tight game against Greece on Tuesday night in Wroclaw. Having raced into a two-goal lead by half-time thanks to goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar, Greece pulled one back in the second half when Theofanis Gekas capitalised on a Petr Cech error. However, the Czechs stood firm and were able to hold on for their first points of the tournament.
The Czechs made two changes to side that were easily disposed of by the Russians on Friday night. Sticking with his 4-5-1 formation, Michal Bilek opted to replace centre-back Roman Hubnik with left-back David Limbersky and move Michal Kadlec into the centre of defence to partner Tomas Sivok. The other change saw winger Jan Rezek replaced by defensive midfielder Tomas Hubschman. Hubschman took over Jaroslav Plasil's position in the middle of the park while Plasil moved into the space vacated by Rezek.
Meanwhile, Greek coach Fernando Santos made four changes to the side that started against Poland in their 1-1 draw in the tournament's opening match. Having lost both his central defensive pairing of Avraam Papadopoulos and Sokratis Papastathapoulos to injury and suspension respectively, he brought in Kyriakos Papadopoulos and pulled Kostas Katsouranis back from midfield. The other changes saw Georgios Fotakis start on the right in place of Ioannis Maniatis, who moved into the centre to replace Katsouranis, and Dimitris Salpigidis and Kostas Fortounis start up front in place of Gekas and Sotiris Ninis respectively.
With three minutes on the clock, the Czech Republic opened the scoring with the first chance of the match. From the middle of the park, Hubschman slipped the ball through the Greek defence for Petr Jiracek, who controlled and advanced on goal. While holding off Jose Holebas, he slotted the ball towards goal with his left-foot from the edge of the area. Although Kostas Chalkias' got his hands to the ball, his attempt was not enough to send the ball off target and it nestled in the bottom-right corner.
Just three minutes later, the dream start got better for the Czechs. When the Greek's failed to clear a bouncing ball, Tomas Rosicky picked it up and his ball released the overlapping Theodor Gebre Selassie down the right-hand side of the Greek area. He burst to the goal-line and pulled the ball back across goal. Again, Chalkias got a hand to the ball but could not get enough on it to take it away from danger and Vaclav Pilar nipped in between two Greek defenders to poke the ball into the empty goal from inside the six-yard box.
In the 19th minute, Pilar controlled the ball on the left-hand side of the Greek area following a Czech throw-in. He moved on goal and shot right-footed from the edge of the area but his drive was weak and off-target and rolled wide of the Greek left-hand post.
With 28 minutes gone, Rosicky ran into space and shot at goal from 30-yards but his shot was comfortably saved by sub keeper Michalis Sifakis, who had replaced the injured Kostas Chalkias in the 23rd minute.
In the 41st minute, Greece looked to have pulled one back when Vasilis Torosidis' cross from the right met the head of Georgios Fotakis near the penalty spot and he headed past Petr Cech. However, he was marginally offside and the Czech's two-goal lead remained intact.
At half-time, both sides made a change each. Tomas Rosicky was replaced by Daniel Kolar, while Theofanis Gekas came on for Georgios Fotakis.
Greece pulled one back eight minutes after the restart owing to a massive mistake by Petr Cech. A harmless cross from the left by Georgios Samaras was completely misjudged by Cech. More concerned with avoiding a clash with compatriot Tomas Sivok, he failed to cleanly catch the ball. It slipped through his hands before landing at the feet of the unmarked substitute Gekas, who coolly slotted into the back of the net from just inside the Czech box.
In the 64th minute, sub Tomas Pekhart found some space outside the Greek area and, with his first touch since entering the park, shot at goal. However, his effort was poor and well off-target. Four minutes later, it was Greece's turn to shoot from long distance as Ioannis Maniatis fired at goal from 30-yards. However, much like Pilar and Pekhart before him, he couldn't direct it at goal.
The game petered out from then on as the Czechs looked to hold onto their lead and the Greeks failed to make any serious inroads in the Czech defence.
Up next for the Czechs is a match against Poland on Saturday evening, again in Wroclaw, while Greece will go into their final match with Russia on Saturday knowing that a win is the only result that will give them any hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Greece (4-3-3): Kostas Chalkias (Michalis Sifakis, 23); Vasilis Torosidis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Kostas Katsouranis, Jose Holebas; Georgios Fotakis (Theofanis Gekas, 45), Ioannis Maniatis, Giorgos Karagounis; Dimitris Salpigidis, Georgios Samaras, Kostas Fortounis (Kostas Mitroglu, 71).
Bookings: Vasilis Torosidis (34), Kyriakos Papadapoulos (56), Dimitris Salpigidis (57).
Czech Republic (4-5-1): Petr Cech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomas Sivok, Michal Kadlec, David Limbersky; Petr Jiracek, Tomas Hubschman, Tomas Rosicky (Daniel Kolar, 45 (Frantisek Rajtoral, 90)), Jaroslav Plasil, Vaclav Pilar; Milan Baros (Tomas Pekhart, 64).
Bookings: Tomas Rosicky (27), Petr Jiracek (36), Daniel Kolar (66).
Referee: Stephane Lannoy.
Man of the match: Petr Jiracek (Czech Republic).