Czechs need bite to build on win
BASEL (Reuters) - Czech Republic were pleased to get three points in the bag by beating Switzerland but were well aware that they need to find some attacking spark if they are to go far in Euro 2008.
Against the co-hosts in a difficult opening match of the tournament, they found themselves under pressure without creating much of their own before substitute striker Vaclav Sverkos netted for a 1-0 win.
"We didn't play the best we could have done but we know that," goalkeeper Petr Cech told reporters.
"In the first half we lost the ball unnecessarily and found ourselves under pressure. On the other hand, we showed that our team spirit was working well in the times when we were under pressure. We made up for it and in the end we got a goal."
While the defensive unit of captain Tomas Ujfalusi, David Rozehnal, Marek Jankulovski and Zdenek Grygera looked solid, the midfield lacked creativity and seemed to be sorely missing playmaker Tomas Rosicky.
Lone striker Jan Koller, whose best service came from Libor Sionko on the right wing, was not fed the type of ball into the box from which he is so dangerous.
"It didn't really work for us going forward, we didn't have as much possession," said Koller.
"It's not going to be easy against Portugal and Turkey. If we want to go further in the competition, we need to have more ideas."
Koller looked laboured and relatively ineffective against the Swiss but there was no indication from coach Karel Brueckner that he was about to drop a striker he has relied upon for so long even though his understudy scored.
The challenge for Brueckner ahead of their next Group A game against Portugal on Wednesday is to rediscover the sort of free-flowing attack that took them to the semi-finals in 2004 and made them one of the most thrilling teams to watch.
There were glimpses of attacking bite from Sionko and Sverkos but nothing like the exciting moves going forward that Portugal demonstrated on Saturday when they could have scored a lot more than the two they put past Turkey.
(Editing by Jon Bramley)
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