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Czech Republic, Greece in; Russia, Poland out
by Paul Kennedy, June 17th, 2012 1:03AM
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TAGS:  european championship, greece, russia


[EURO 2012 WRAP] Russia's European Championship, which began so brightly when it crushed the Czech Republic, 4-1, ended abruptly when it fell to Greece, 1-0. The loss, combined with the Czechs' 1-0 win over co-host Poland, meant that the Czech Republic and Greece were through to the final eight from Group A.

Giorgos Karagounis scored the lone goal for Greece, which had opened with a 1-1 tie with Poland and 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

"We deserved this result," Greece coach Fernando Santos said. "It was a matter of focus and concentration, it is just a pity we had to wait until the last match to find it. This match was really difficult for us but the players gave everything."

Russia would have still qualified if the Czech Republic and Poland tied, but Petr Jiracek, a second division player as recently as four years ago, gave the Czechs the win with a late goal.

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