The first half ended in zip-zip with Denmark playing superbly and looking dominating at the beginning of the second half ... not for long ... came the first goal and the Dannish were trailing one goal ... I guess it took it's toll on the players, they lost confidence and not much later got another goal scored on them ... 3 minutes later, it was 3-0 for the Czechs ... 73rd minute now ... It looks like Greece will have to battle the Czech Republic in the semi-finals.
Greece stuns Czechs 1-0 in extra time to advance to final of Euro 2004
PORTO, Portugal (AP) - Traianos Dellas scored on a close-in header off a corner in extra time Thursday as Greece defeated the Czech Republic 1-0 in a stunning upset to reach the final of Euro 2004.
Greece's Panagiotis Fyssas, right, celebrates with teammate Vasilios Tsiartas after beating Czech Republic 1-0. (AP /Paulo Duarte)
A rank outsider and winless in their other appearances in big events - the World Cup in '94 and the 1980 Euro championship - Greece faces host country Portugal on Sunday in Lisbon's Stadium of Light. It marks the first time in 40 years that a Euro final will be staged between two first-time finalists.
Greece defeated Portugal in the opening game of the tournament 2-1, and ousted defending champion France 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
"I believe we played very cleverly," Dellas said. "We shut out all their strong points but countered and sometimes we were freezing the match.
Asked about the winning goal, he said: "We believed in it from the beginning and we achieved it. Back home in Greece this night also belongs to them."
Dellas also discounted the win three weeks ago against Portugal.
"The first match is over it doesn't mean anything," he said. "A lot has changed in the middle and we will face a completely different Portugal team - stronger.
"They will find a Greek team even better than in the opening match."
Having become the first team to beat both the host and the defending champion in a major championship, the Greeks have now beaten the team which had been playing the best soccer.
Now it's Portugal again.
"We have only two days to rest and we have to do everything to be ready. It is too fast," said Stylianos Giannakopoulos. "It is a dream. It is like we are sleeping and we won't wake up."
Dellas scored off a corner delivered from Vasilios Tsiartas. The "silver goal" came just seconds before the first 15 minutes of extra time was to end.
Had the period ended scoreless, it would have gone to another 15 minutes. After that, it would have been penalties.
The Czechs were without captain Pavel Nedved from late in the first half after he picked up a right knee injury in the 33rd minute when he failed to connect on a cross in the box and collided with Costas Katsouranis.
He went off on a stretcher, limped back on in the 36th minute and hobbled around until he was replaced in the 40th minute by Vladimir Smicer.
Greece withstood early pressure as the Czech Republic took control from the start and tried to break the game open. After just over two minutes against the defensive Greeks, Tomas Rosicky's shot from 20 metres bounced off the crossbar.
Marek Jankulovski kept up the pressure, striking a hard drive from 15 metres in the sixth minute, which went directly at goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis. Towering six-foot-nine Jan Koller sailed a high arching header in the 19th minute that Nikopolidis grabbed as it dropped just short of the crossbar.
Greece inched back into the match and in the 29th minute and almost scored a fluke goal on a cross from the left. Panagiotis Fyssas touched the cross but goalkeeper Petr Cech got his fingertips on the ball and nudged it past the post.
Jankulovski shot just wide in the 33rd minute. Seconds before the play, Nedved picked up his injury. When he tried to shoot, his leg struck the hip of Costas Katsouranis.
The second half began with a series of fouls and yellow cards as both teams showed more muscle than fine play.
Czech Tomas Galasek picked up a yellow card in the 49th minute for a blatant foul on striker Angelos Charisteas.
With 30 minutes to go, the Greeks seemed content to counterattack and wait for extra time - or a penalty shootout - as they frustrated the usually smooth-passing Czechs.
Toward the end, the Czechs tried to open up.
In the 80th minute, Koller had the best scoring chance of the half, taking a pass in the box and firing wide from 12 metres off a pass from Rosicky.
Two minutes later, Karel Poborsky headed wide off a long cross as the Czechs kept pressing. In the 83rd minute, Milan Baros broke into the area, faked and then shot just wide from 15 metres.
In the 90th minute the Czechs were still probing as Jankulovski sent a long cross into the box, just missing Koller. Czech defender Rene Bolf headed away a dangerous cross in the first minute of injury time.
In the first 15 minutes of extra time, the Greeks came out looking for a goal. In the 96th minute, Charisteas shot point-blank at Cech but the play was off side. In the 103rd minute, Dellas got on the end of a long free kick, and flicked it on goal from eight meters with Cech making a point-blank save.
Czech Republic: Petr Cech; Zdenek Grygera, Tomas Ujfalusi, Rene Bolf, Marek Jankulovski; Tomas Galasek, Karel Poborsky, Tomas Rosicky, Pavel Nedved (Vladimir Smicer 40th minute); Milan Baros, Jan Koller.
Portuguese are to meet their destiny again and this time in the final game.I'd be happy to be sure Portugal will win but alas,there have been so many surprises so far that now I'm even afraid to make any predictions.We'll see how it goes though.If there's gonna be another big surprise.
By the way Portuguese did say they'd rather have Greeks as their opponents in the final than anyone else as they had faced them once and learned their opponent's strong and weak points...That's gonna be fun!
The russian mailmen will keep the trophy before it gets anywhere further.
So they can just send it directly to me (I'll pay for shipping and handling).
Otto Rehhagel, second from left, the coach of Greece, celebrates with the team after beating Portugal 1-0 at the end of the Euro 2004 soccer championship final match at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Sunday. (AP/Frank Augstein)
Bidders offer millions for Beckham penalty miss ball from Euro 2004
MADRID (AP) - David Beckham's errant penalty kick in the shootout of the Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal was costly for England.
England's David Beckham is consoled after missing a penalty shot during the Euro 2004 quarter final soccer match. (AP/Steven Governo)
But the ball the soccer star blazed into the stands on June 24 is proving even costlier. It has attracted a bid of 10 million euros ($16.3 million Cdn) on an Internet auction site and promises to make a multimillionaire of the Spaniard who caught it in the stands.
Pablo Carral, who was sitting high in Lisbon's Luz stadium, soon realised he was in possession of more than a souvenir when he received an offer of 18,000 euros ($29,400 Cdn) from a British newspaper.
Corral, 25, then decided to test the water by offering the ball for sale on the Spanish site of Internet auctioneers eBay (www.es.ebay.com).
Starting at one euro ($1.63 Cdn), bids for the made-in-Thailand ball, which bears the date and venue of the game, have soared as high as Beckham's misjudged shot that led to England's elimination from the tournament.
"The incredible thing was that the ball reached our row because we were sitting a long way from the goal," Corral was quoted by sports daily As. "To leave the stadium, I was guarded by two friends whilst I hid it in my clothes."
Corral must wait until July 22 when the auction closes to claim his windfall. Ebay's conditions state that bids can only be withdrawn in exceptional circumstances.