(WARSAW, POLAND) – The Czech Republic will hope to turn back the clock when they take on Portugal in the first UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final in Warsaw.
Sixteen years ago the Czechs overcame Portugal 1-0 at this stage en route to the final of EURO ’96 in England. Then as now they recovered from an opening defeat to progress from a group with a negative goal difference – and with Russia eliminated beneath them. This time round, unlike then, Michal Bílek’s side advanced as Group A winners after victories against Greece and Poland.
Paulo Bento’s Portugal also recovered from a defeat in their first match, in their case against Germany, to claim second place in Group B thanks to wins against Denmark and the Netherlands. The only other time they lost their opening game was in 2004, when they went all the way to the final.
The winners will take on Spain or France in the semi-finals in Donetsk on 27 June.
Germany vs Greece
Something has to give when Greece and Germany meet in the last eight of UEFA EURO 2012 at the Arena Gdansk – neither team has ever lost a UEFA European Championship quarter-final before.
Germany are competing in their fifth quarter-final and have gone on to the final on each previous occasion while Greece hope to pull off a shock to match their dethroning of defending champions France on their one previous appearance at this stage in 2004.
That Greek victory came under Otto Rehhagel, the German who famously guided Greece all the way to the final and the Henri Delaunay Cup in 2004. Now, after climbing off the foot of Group A with a surprise defeat of Russia, Fernando Santos’s side are back in the quarter-finals and planning another upset against Germany, the Group B victors who remain the only team to have won every game so far.
The winners of this match will play England or Italy in the semi-finals in Warsaw on 28 June.