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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 23:05 GMT 00:05 UK
Czechs upbeat despite early exit
Vladimir Smicer
Smicer consigns Denmark to Group D's basement
The Czech Republic's Euro 2000 campaign ended on a high on Wednesday night thanks to a 2-0 victory over Denmark.

Two narrow defeats to Group D's big guns, France and Holland, had already made it impossible for the Czechs to qualify for the quarter-finals, but the team was clearly intent on restoring some pride.

After the game Czech coach Jozef Chovanec said: "It wasn't easy for us today because we suffered a lot physically and psychologically from playing well and losing those two games.

"I was pleased that we showed the character and strength to get a victory."

Great future

Chovanec added that his team had nothing to be ashamed of in not reaching the last eight and was optimistic for the future.

Peter Schmeichel
A dejected Schmeichel reflects on another defeat
"I am positive about the future of Czech football and think we are on the right path. Sooner or later we will be up there among such countries as the Netherlands and France."

The defeat consigned the Danes to Group D's wooden spoon after three straight losses, although they can consider themselves unlucky not to have gained something from a game they contributed much to.

"We had some great spells, but we were unlucky and lost again," said Danish defender Martin Laursen.

Positive approach

Denmark coach Bo Johansson, in charge of the national team for the last time, was frustrated that, as in their previous two games, his side had lost a game after starting brightly.

"It was more or less the same story. We probably played even better before they scored. Maybe we have been too optimistic sometimes and have lost the ball and then been immediately punished."

But Johansson said he had no regrets about his side's attack-minded approach.

"Maybe it would have been better to play with four or five people in defence all the time but that is not our style, not my style."

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See also:

21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Smicer brace gives Czechs win
21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Denmark v Czech Rep clockwatch
19 Jun 00 | Czech Rep
Berger comes in as Czechs go out
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