Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic (Sverkos 70′)
St Jakob’s Park, Basel
7 June 2008
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
The Czech Republic have won the opening match of the 2008 European Championships despite being on the backfoot (the Swiss led in possession and shots on goal) for the whole game. Hosts Switzerland were beaten 1-0 in Basel, and with this defeat seem to have lost any serious chances of making it past the group stages even if they end up beating Turkey.
Switzerland created the better chances throughout the entire ninety minutes but never managed to get past goalkeeper Cech.
In the 71st minute, it was substitute Vaclav Sverkos to silence the home crowd by scoring the first goal of the tournament.
Sverkos received a looping header and found himself in a one-on-one situation with Swiss goalkeeper Benaglio. The Czech made no mistake and shot into the right lower corner for 1-0.
Switzerland came close in the remaining minutes with Johan Vonlanthen hitting the crossbar from close ranger, but couldn’t avoid a defeat in their first match.
And there was more bad news for the Swiss as captain Alexander Frei went out injured just before half time, and doesn’t seem likely to make an appearance later in the tournament.
Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner (Vonlanthen 75), Muller, Senderos, Magnin, Behrami (Derdiyok 83), Inler, Gelson, Barnetta, Frei (Yakin 46), Streller.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Jakupovic, Djourou, Huggel, Cabanas, Grichting, Gygax, Spycher, Degen.
Booked: Magnin, Vonlanthen, Barnetta.
Czech Republic: Cech, Jankulovski, Rozehnal, Ujfalusi, Grygera, Plasil, Polak, Galasek, Jarolim (Kovac 87), Sionko (Vlcek 83), Koller (Sverkos 56).
Subs Not Used: Blazek, Zitka, Fenin, Pospech, Kadlec, Baros, Matejovsky, Sivok, Skacel.
Goals: Sverkos 70.
Ref: Roberto Rosetti (Italy).
Switzerland Top Speed (kph) Distance (m)
1. Diego Benaglio 12.41 5347
3. Ludovic Magnin 23.20 8924
4. Philippe Senderos 18.94 9204
5. Stephan Lichtsteiner 21.88 8076
8. Gokhan Inler 22.52 9730
9. Alexander Frei 22.71 4750
11. Marco Streller 20.84 9778
15. Gelson Fernandes 21.67 11212
16. Tranquillo Barnetta 19.15 9715
19. Valon Behrami 22.52 9838
20. Patrick Muller 18.56 9342
10. Hakin Yakin 20.79 5051
12. Eren Derdiyok 11.80 1071
22. Johann Vonlanthen 22.35 2000
Czech Republic Top Speed (kph) Distance (m)
1. Petr Cech 11.26 3840
2. Zdenek Grygera 22.68 9674
3. Jan Polak 22.05 11009
4. Tomas Galasek 20.65 9610
6. Marek Jankulovski 23.67 9715
7. Libor Sionko 22.05 10555
9. Jan Koller 20.96 5993
14. David Jarolim 20.59 10580
20. Jaroslav Plasil 24.32 11239
21. Tomas Ujfalusi 22.68 9014
22. David Rozehnal 20.28 9438
5. Radoslav Kovac 13.55 730
10. Vaclav Sverkos 23.82 4390
11. Stanislav Vlcek 24.46 1307
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As you can see from the numbers, the Czechs were the busier side, covering a total of nearly 3km more than the Swiss team together. This difference was mostly covered by the defence, who were 2km busier than the ‘clock-makers’. Interestingly, the Czech attack covered 7km more than the Swiss players, but they didn’t seem to be enjoying the better chances. The Swiss midfield had 4km over their counterparts, though, so dominated the position and the possession (Switzerland had 55% possession for the game, plus more shots on goal (13 to 8)).
On Wednesday (11 June), Switzerland take on Turkey – the loser of that game would effectively be out of the competiton – and the Czechs take on Portugal – the winner of that game should effectively qualify for the quarter-finals. You can keep track of it all at the Euro 08 Results page.