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Switzerland 1-2 Turkey



UEFA EURO 2008 GROUP A
Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal Match report
Switzerland 1-2 Turkey Match report

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)
By Jonathan Stevenson

My second Champagne Moment is more for the comedy value than anything else. With the rain lashing down in Basel and the pitch becoming almost unplayable, Eren Derdiyok rounds the keeper and crosses perfectly for Hakan Yakin. The ball brilliantly stops dead in a puddle, but Hakan Yakin keeps his compure to slot home. And watch how the man with Turkish ancestry does not celebrate, just like Poland-born Lukas Podolski when he bagged for Germany.

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Goal for Hakan Yakin, assist for the six-yard box puddle

So here's the first Champagne Moment of the day and it's Portugal's second goal against Czech Republic in Geneva, a goal that took them into a lead they were not to relinquish. It was a move that combined the artistry and pinpoint passing of the brilliant Deco, who was awesome today, and the clinical finishing of the world's best footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo. Cross, shoot, goal. Football gets no more simple.

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Deco finds Ronaldo and Portugal go 2-1 up

2157: Some low marks, surprisingly because the players gave a phenomenal amount of effort in very, very difficult conditions in Basel. But Turkey's first scorer Semih Senturk is leading the way so far, on 7.15. You're not impressed with Swiss sub Daniel Gygax, who has 5.05.
Rate the players

2152: I believe, as many of you are saying, that if Czech Republic and Turkey draw in their last group game, it will go to a penalty shoot-out. Penalties, in a group game. I stand to be corrected, but that would be truly sensational.

2145: "Unlucky Switzerland. You could sense that winner from a mile off though, wasn't sure what side but I could definately smell a winner. Now, can Turkey beat Czech Republic and go through to the last eight?"
StamfordLuke on 606
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2140: "If you'd said to me after 20 minutes the game was going to be a belter I'd have laughed in your face, but it really was fantastic and credit to all the players."
BBC Sport's Alan Hansen

2138: FULL-TIME Switzerland 1-2 Turkey

2138: "Game of two surfaces: Switzerland were Senna'esque in the wet first half and then Turkey got more grip in the drier second."
Cen, via text

2136: GOAL Switzerland 1-2 Turkey
The Swiss are out of Euro 2008. Arda Turan gets sent away down the right and he cuts in and shoots from 20 yards, it takes a heavy deflection off Valon Behrami and loops over the keeper and into the net. Absolute heartbreak for the Swiss and manager Kobi Khun.

2135: By the way, after full-time I'll be moving these updates into a final story, called 'Euro 2008 day five as it happened'. I'll be bringing you the two Champagne Moments of the day, don't forget.

2133: Emre Asik is in a bit of trouble here. He goes up for a header with Johan Vonlanthen and gets a nasty one in the face and he's bleeding heavily from a cut on his forehand. Could be some concussion there.

2134: "Stevo's search for a decent free-kick goes on."
Script Writer on 606
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2131: Ludovic Magnin can't get it up and over the wall and the ball deflects away for a corner, which Turkey deal with.

2130: Switzerland have a free-kick on the edge of the Turkey box.

2128: Nihat is off for Turkey and Kazim Kazim comes on. Switzerland take off Hakan Yakin and Daniel Gygax is on.

2127: What a chance for the hosts. They break quickly and the ball falls for Johan Vonlanthen who forces a great save from Volkan, before the keeper does extremely well to block Hakan Yakin's rebound effort.

2126: Arda Turan has impressed me but he can't get a kick of the ball at the moment because Turkey, for some reason, are playing everything down their right."
BBC Sport's Mark Bright

2124: Turkey are doing more of the pressing but their final delivery is leaving a bit to be desired at the moment. The crowd have gone nervously quiet.

2120: Hamit Altintop hits a free-kick 35 yards over the bar from 45 yards out. I'd give anything for a good free-kick this tournament - we've only had one, Andrea Pirlo for Italy, and 30 seconds later they conceded!

2120: 15 minutes left in this one. I'm banning all talk of Chelsea and Scolari now because these two teams deserve our attention.

2118: "As a Chelsea fan I hope Big Phil lets Real Madrid talk to Ronaldo as much as possible! Sir Alex will be fuming!"
Katie, London, via text

Katie, I think you've just made the point of the tournament. I can just see the look on Fergie's face!

2116: Johan Vonlanthen goes on a mazy run at the heart of the Turkey defence, but Servet Cetin does well to get the block in.

2114: Gokhan Inler lashes in a shot from 22 yards that deflects heavily off Servet Cetin, but the referee gives a goalkick.

2114: "I have to wonder what bright spark would think making that announcement on the Chelsea manager today was a good idea? Portugal looked good for this tournament, I'm writing them off as of now!"
donkamero on 606
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2110: Tranquillo Barnetta is taken off and striker Johan Vonlanthen comes on for Switzerland. Meanwhile, I'm annoyed with Chelsea for the timing of that announcement. It's not always about you, you know.
Scolari named as Chelsea manager

2106: Breaking news: Luiz Felipe Scolari has been named as the new manager of Chelsea.

2105: I'd just like to draw people's attention to the 1615 comment. Even if someone scores, I've never been this right before!

2104: Ludovic Magnin volleys in from 25 yards but it flies just wide of Volkan's right-hand post. This is a proper game of football now.

2102: Hakan Balta's ear is bleeding an awful lot and he has to go off again for some treatment.

2100: GOAL Switzerland 1-1 Turkey
Semih Senturk has equalised and you've got to ask questions of the keeper there. Like, 'How on earth didn't you save that?' Nihat curls over a cross from the left and Semih rises high to nod goalwards, Diego Benaglio doing nothing more than parrying the ball into the net. Terrible.

2059: Valon Behrami does really well down the right and to be fair to him, stays on his feet in the penalty area when he might have stumbled under a challenge, but his cross on the slide is just beyond the Swiss strikers.

2058: Eren Derdiyok is booked for a combination of fouling Hamit Altintop and kicking the ball away. Teenagers, eh?

2057: "Its not as much fun without the rain."
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2055: Tranquillo Barnetta hits a terrible shot miles wide of the Turkey goal, but at least the pitch has dried sufficiently so he could run at the opposition's defence.

2051: Hakan Balta crazily sticks out an arm to try to direct a free-kick goalwards, but there was another Turkey player just behind him who might have headed it in - shocking decision from the left-back and he is booked, too.

2050: The conditions have cleared a little and Turkey are getting the ball from back to front with a lot more interest.

2049: Turkey make a double change at the break, bringing on Mehmet Topal and Semih Senturk for Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Tumer Metin. We are back under way in Basel.

2045: "I got a call from the Blackburn chief executive John Williams and he asked me if I wanted to be on the shortlist to be the new manager, but I said no because of other commitments I've got, namely my BBC work and other things. It's not the right time for me."
BBC Sport pundit Alan Shearer

Switzerland v Turkey
It's a bit dark in Basel, to be fair...
2043: Player Rater - My boy Arda Turan is leading at the moment on 8, but poor Nihat, taker of the worst free-kick of all time, is struggling a bit on 4.4.
Rate the players

2039: Did you know that if you text the word 'euros' to 81010 you will get a link to our Euro 2008 website? Click on that for mobile international football tournament news heaven. Remember, texts to the BBC cost 10p to 15p and that although our site is free for you to access, your network operator will charge you for the amount of data you use.

2036: "Are they going to water the pitch at half-time?"
Matt, London, via text

Yeah, I'll give you that one.

2034: "The rain has been the star of the show. It has descended into a farce and I think it's unfair on the Turkish team because they like to play the short pass-and-move and they've got no chance. Switzerland are doing better because they lump it forward."
BBC Sport pundit Alan Hansen

2031: HALF-TIME Switzerland 1-0 Turkey

2029: "If the game is called off, will the Swiss start with a 1-0 lead like in the Forest-Leicester game? Or will it start at 0-0? Stevo, I'm asking you directly. You'd better answer. And I know you can because you're a Forest fan."
cheese666 on 606
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Are you always so aggressive pal or are you making an exception for me? See 2023 and learn some manners, young man.

2025: Let's be honest, this is absolutely brilliant. I mean it doesn't make for the most attractive football ever, but it's incredibly watchable. And the Swiss are dealing with it much better, as Mehmet Aurelio proves by picking up a yellow card for bringing down Valon Behrami.

2023: "This is a farce."
waldovski on 606
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And what's more agonising for the hosts is that if this match is abandoned, they will play the full 90 minutes tomorrow from 0-0. Oh my.

2021: "Stevo, my girlfriend and her mates are getting ready to go out in the only room with a telly so I have been banished to the next room. Making do with your commentary, having already missed the last game! Arda Turan is one to watch though!"
Darren in Coventry, via text

Sometimes, you boys disappoint me. Presumably you have more than one room? So send them packing and get involved - for crying out loud, these tournaments don't come along that often!

2019: That's the miss of the tournament all wrapped up. Valon Behrami plays a sensational cross in from the right that falls for Hakan Yakin three yards out and he can only volley it wide. You just couldn't make this up. He only scores when he's set up by a puddle.

2016: GOAL Switzerland 1-0 Turkey
I promise you, you will have never seen a goal like it. Philippe Senderos gets Eren Derdiyok into some space down the right and he plays a great ball right across the Turkey six-yard box, the ball stopping in a puddle perfectly for Hakan Yakin to tap in from close range. If the weather carries on, they might call this one off.

2013: Unbelievable. Nihat fires in a free-kick from the right and Diego Benaglio punches it one-handed on to the head of young Arda Turan, the ball flying against the outside of the post and away to safety.

2010: Tranquillo Barnetta hits a super 22-yard free-kick that skips off the treacherous surface and is brilliantly tipped away for a corner by Volkan, who has been flawless so far.

2008: Hakan Yakin hits a left-foot shot from 22 yards on the left-hand side, which Volkan palms away for a corner.

2007: "Stevo, I'm working till 11 and trying to avoid The Apprentice result so I can watch it on iPlayer. Do I have your word that you won't mention the winner, or do I have to turn the BBC website off?!"
Tom, in Dover, via text

You have my word, promise. Also, don't forget to watch highlights from these games on iPlayer while you're at it.

2004: Gokhan Inler fires in a left-footer from 30 yards, he had no choice as no-one went wide for him and in these conditions it's easily worth a pop, but Volkan deals with it comfortably. It's certainly the weather for a keeping howler, remember Scott Carson v Croatia?

2002: Nihat takes the worst free-kick ever. It's 45 yards out, everyone is in the box waiting and he smacks it from wide on the left to out on the right for a Swiss throw in. Meanwhile, the rain continues to wreak havoc.

2002: "After watching all of The Apprentice so far this series I have decided to watch this game tonight instead of the final. Good decision or foolish?"
Terrific_Torres on 606
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Punter decision of the tournament so far. Legend.

2000: It is absolutely hammering it down in Basel now, phenomenal rain, and BBC Sport commentators Steve Wilson and Mark Bright are among those getting wet!

1958: "Stevo, are you ready and waiting to use the words 'Swiss Roll' when one of their players goes down like he's been shot?!"
James, Nottm, via text

Please. As if I'd be so obvious...

1956: Hakan Balta has got an early cut to his ear and has to go off the pitch to change his shirt after a little bit of blood.

1956: "Servet Cetin has got big strapping on one of his legs, he was struggling in the warm-up and he still looks as though he is."
BBC Sport's Mark Bright

1954: I already love Arda Turan. He seems to be one of those players that wants the ball all the time and then when he gets it doesn't want to give it to anyone else.

1950: The atmosphere in all of these grounds has been great so far, but this one sounds right out of the top drawer. Let's hope the Swiss really get something to cheer.

1946: The boy Arda Turan looks lively early doors here. He's been linked with Newcastle.

1945: The anthems have been sung with gusto, the teams have done their warm-ups and we are go in the St Jakob-Park stadium in Basel. Incidentally, Ludovic Magnin has taken over the armband from Alexander Frei.

1941: Imagine all the work that has gone into this tournament for Switzerland - the bid, the building stadiums, all that effort - and then to be eliminated after just four days."
BBC Sport commentator Steve Wilson

1939: "The only brilliance I can see in this Switzerland team will be coming from Hakan Yakin. By the way, Celtic do have an interest in Alexander Frei, but we're interested in many players."
BBC Sport pundit Gordon Strachan

1937: "Ironic that the replacment for Frei is ethnically a Turk. By the way, Derdiyok means person with no purpose. Let's hope so tonight! Come on Turkey!"
Kerim, via text

1934: Lots of pressure on the Swiss tonight. Lose and they join Belgium in 2000 as the only hosts to eve go out in the group stage of the tournament. I'm looking forward to seeing young Eren Derdiyok - at a Euro 2008 launch chat with BBC presenter Jake Humphrey, he told me Derdiyok was his one to watch for the Euros. Jake, I hope you're right.

1931: "The tournament has not been great so far, decent few games and only two games that lit up the competition. France have not got started yet and they do not have alot of time."
Jayamz86 on 606
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I disagree. We've had three top drawer games now out of nine, not a bad start - let's just hope this tournament keeps the quality going right until the end, unlike a lot in recent memory.

1928: So this is the first time these two teams have met since that almight free-for-all carve up at the end of their 2006 World Cup qualifying play-off in Istanbul in November 2005. The violent clashes between the two sides led Turkey to be handed a six-game behind-closed-doors ban by Fifa and six players handed individual punishments. Fifa called it the biggest disciplinary investigation in its history.
Turkey get six-game Fifa sanction

1924: "Lots of Turkish fans loving the inclusion of Arda Turan. I haven't seen him play but apparently he's the next big thing for them. Any thoughts? Where do you reckon the goals will come from tonight?"
4fabregas on 606
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1919: Let's clear something up straight away - if Switzerland lose tonight, they are out of the competition. But if Turkey lose, they can still qualify for the quarter-finals. This is because Switzerland then could only get three points and with the Czechs and Turkey on three and to play each other... you get my point. Also worth mentioning that if teams finish level on points, it's decided on their head-to-head performance.

1915: "Stevo I hope you had a wager on your prediction of 3-1 to Portugal."
Timbo, via text

Mate, if your predos were as consistently pathetic as mine, you wouldn't even go near a bookies. I hope I made someone out there some money though, that's enough for me.

1911: Initial thoughts on the teams, then. With Alex Frei out Switzerland have turned to the only teenager at Euro 2008 to score their goals - Eren Derdiyok. Mind you, he turns 20 tomorrow. Hakan Yakin comes in for Marco Streller too and the co-hosts have an all-singing, all-dancing new front pairing. Arda Turan, Emre Asik, Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Tumer Metin comes in for Turkey, with Kazim Kazim and Emre among the ones to miss out.

1905: TEAM NEWS Switzerland v Turkey
Turkey: Volkan Demirel, Emre Asik, Servet Cetin, Hakan Kadir Balta, Tumer Metin, Gokdeniz Karadeniz, Mehmet Aurelio, Arda, Hamit Altintop, Tuncay Sanli, Nihat.
Switzerland: Benaglio, Senderos, Muller, Magnin, Lichtsteiner, Yakin, Gokhan Inler, Gelson Fernandes, Behrami, Barnetta, Derdiyok.

1901: "Portugal came through despite not playing very well, but they will face much tougher tests at this Euros and it'll be interesting to see how they fare then."
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1859: Player Rater - Guess who's winning. Go on. Nope, try again. It's still Libor Sionko and that does justice to his terrific display, very lively - deserved his goal and probably for his team to get something too. He's on 7.65, while Cristiano Ronaldo, once more the match-winner, is on just 5.85. Ronaldo, with a sub-six score. I never thought I'd live to see the day.
Rate the players

1855: Hello again.

1851: FULL-TIME Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal

1850: "Stevenson got it right. Stevenson got it right. Stevenson got it right. No, no matter how many times I type it, it doesn't sink in."
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1848: GOAL Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo times a run to perfection on halfway and races through on goal, unselfishly passing square for Ricardo Quaresma to tap into an empty net. Game over and harsh on Karel Bruckner's side.

1847: Libor Sionko swivels on the edge of the box and sends a volley over the bar. Fair play to the Czechs, they have done everything to try and get level.

1846: Marek Jankulovski sends over a devilish free-kick from the right and somehow it evades Milan Baros again, Ricardo punching the ball away and Portugal clearing.

1845: Don't forget, when the whistle goes for full-time here, I'll be moving the live updates to the Switzerland v Turkey page.
Switzerland v Turkey

1843: David Jarolim comes on for Jaroslav Plasil and that's the last change of the game.

1842: "These Spain and Holland lovers need to broaden their minds. Anyone remember Argentina at the last World Cup? Peaking too early and flattering to deceive."
Laurence, London, via text

1840: Great chance. Libor Sionko climbs high to get his head on a cross from the right, but Ricardo is equal to his header and tips it over the bar.

1837: Ricardo Quaresma replaces Simao. Portugal are eating up time here.

1836: Portugal take Nuno Gomes off and bring on Hugo Almeida. In the process of going off, Nuno Gomes takes about an hour to hand the armband to Cristiano Ronaldo.

1835: "Ronaldo is nothing without Rooney. Rooney's diagonal running and quick feet enable Ronaldo to showboat and use his pace. If Ronaldo were to leave he would merely be a 20m player, the package of Rooney and Ronaldo is 100m plus. As a Utd fan I'd take 75m for Ronaldo but not for Rooney."
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1834: Milan Baros heads a cross from the right wide and he never looked convincing as he went for it. Maybe Libor Sionko was better placed, slightly behind Baros.

1833: Portugal have a free-kick 25 yards out and Simao hits it straight into the wall. If only they had someone else to take them.

1831: Fernando Meira comes on for Joao Moutinho for Portugal. He's been a touch disappointing - maybe Everton will get him for only 15m now.

1830: The giant Jan Koller (is that his full name?) comes on for Tomas Galasek.

1829: Jan Koller is getting instructions on the bench as he prepares to come on for Czech Republic. Armando Petit is stretchered off for Portugal, but then jumps up off the pitch and wants to come straight back on. Poor behaviour, that.

1828: "Fantastic goal and a good lead for Portugal but I haven't seen anything today that makes me think they could topple Spain, or even Holland."
welsh1623 on 606
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1826: "That can't be the same Libor Sionko that played at Ibrox. Couldn't kick a ball for Rangers. One tournament wonder or a good player?"
Andy, via text

1825: Stanislav Vlcek comes on for Marek Matejovsky for Czech Republic.

1820: GOAL Czech Republic 1-2 Portugal
You know who. Cristiano Ronaldo, after a subdued display, smashes the Portuguese back into the lead with a crisp first-time strike from 16 yards after Deco's cross from the right.

1819: Tomas Ujfalusi gets his head on to a corner from the Czech right and somehow it evades both Libor Sionko and Milan Baros at the far post.

1819: "The Czech midfield have run themselves into the ground and Portugal, as we suspected, are not playing as badly as they did in the first half."
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1817: Come on guys, get the texts coming in on 81111. And don't forget that if you text the word 'euros' to 81010 you will get a link to our Euro 2008 website. Click on that and you're in a world of mobile international football tournament news heaven. Remember, texts to the BBC cost 10p to 15p and that although our site is free for you to access, your network operator will charge you for the amount of data you use.

1815: Much better from the Portuguese, who are having a good spell. Deco weaves himself into some space and plays a lovely pass into Simao's path 18 yards out, the winger's shot saved by the legs of Petr Cech.

1812: David Rozehnal gifts the ball away to Nuno Gomes but recovers brilliantly to get a block in as the striker fires in his shot.

1810: They just showed the great, great Eusebio in the crowd. Portugal, start playing for him. On the pitch, Nuno Gomes turns Marek Jankulovski on the edge of the box, but his shot is straight down Petr Cech's throat.

1808: "(See 1801) Great tactics Stevo, let's see the three most egotistical, selfish players in the world all on the pitch at the same time and see what happens."
Jols Barber on 606
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Yeah, let's.

1805: Magnificent stuff from the Czechs. Marek Matejovsky plays a stunning pass inside the full-back for Libor Sionko and his cross fizzes across the Portuguese goal with Milan Baros trying, but failing to get on the end of it. Super stuff.

1804: Great stuff from Pepe. He wins the ball cleanly from Milan Baros and lopes forward into the Czech Republic's half, eventually winning a corner which comes to nothing.

1804: "Is the Portuguese commentator next to us trying to break the world record for the number of words you can speak in a minute?"
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1802: Czech Republic get us back under way in Geneva.

1801: My advice to Big Phil is the same as a lot of you are saying - take off Nuno Gomes, play Ronaldo through the middle and put Quaresma or Nani on. I still think they'll improve enough to win this one.

1758: Don't forget to get involved with You Are The Ref during Euro 2008. Today is number four in our series and it's proving a difficult one to judge as always. Also, aren't the drawings just absolutely brilliant? Well I think they are.
You Are The Ref

1755: Player Rater: Czech Republic goalscorer Libor Sinko is leading the way at this stage of proceedings with 7.61, but Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is sturggling a bit on surely one of his lowest ever marks - just 5.72.
Rate the players

1750: "I've been very impressed with the Czechs after I gave them a hammering for their display against the Swiss. Their tempo is good and they've worked hard. Portugal have been very disappointing and they surely can't play that badly again?"
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1746: HALF-TIME Czech Republic 1-1 Portugal

1746: Ronaldo fires in a free-kick from 25 yards that falls in front of Petr Cech and he deals with it easily.

1743: Ronaldo races towards goal and goes down theatrically after he is brushed in the face by a defender. You don't need me to describe it to you - you've all seen it before. You know when people touch their face to see if they're bleeding when they've hardly been caught? Embarrassing.

1741: He just came to life. Ronaldo hits a sizzling left-footer from 30 yards that is arrowing into the far corner and Petr Cech dives across his line and pushes the ball away.

1738: "This is possibly the best game so far. The Netherlands v Italy was pretty good though. I'm just wondering why Ronaldo isn't stepping up?"
chels_or_else on 606
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Beats me. Portugal look distinctly average at the moment and he needs to get on the ball much more.

1736: Milan Baros is causing Ricardo Carvalho all sorts of problems. After their respective performances in the Premier League last season, I can't quite believe I just wrote that sentence.

1734: Nuno Gomes has been very, very quiet so far and he cannot get his head on to a Paulo Ferreira cross from the left. Portugal are very much second best at the moment.

1730: Jose Bosingwa is cautioned for a naughty trip on Tomas Galasek after he had made a searing run down the right and after his cross came back out to him, lost the ball to the Czech sitter.

1728: Ricardo gets nowhere near a corner to the far post and Libor Sionko's volley back across the six-yard box is eventually cleared by the Portuguese defence.

1726: "If Ronaldo is the new Graeme Hick, is Ryan Sidebottom the new Karel Poborsky?"
Mac, via text

1723: This game has goals in it, and lots of them (well cursed Stevo). Deco cuts in from the left past some non-existent tackles and fires in a right-foot shot that flies just past the angle. Moments later, Ronaldo shoots from 25 yards and Petr Cech gets down well to his left to save.

1721: I do believe we've just witnessed our first equaliser of the tournament. Meanwhile, Jan Polak is booked for an enthusiastic challenge on Pepe.

1719: "Portugal's problem is that they haven't got anyone in midfield to do the enforcing - to win the ball when you really need it to be won."
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1716: GOAL Czech Republic 1-1 Portugal
Libor Sionko levels for the Czechs. Jaroslav Plasil swings over a corner from the right and one of the smallest men on the pitch, Sionko, powers a diving header into the roof of the Portugal net. Great finish, quality game.

1715: Armando Petit smashes one in from 30 yards that Petr Cech deals with, though the big Chelsea keeper didn't look massively comfortable in doing so. Up the other end and Milan Baros gets a run on his defender and heads a cross from the right over the bar.

1713: "Is it too much to hope that the Czechs will have a chant for Ujfalusi to the tune of Chas 'n' Dave's 'Snooker Loopy'?"
JTW, via text

1711: "(See 1652) If Ronaldo's the new Graham Hick, do you reckon he'd be willing to step up and replace Ian Bell in England team? (I think he's lived here long enough to qualify)."
LFCSnumber8 on 606
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1707: GOAL Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal
Deco scrambles in and the Portuguese are in front. It was a very scrappy goal, Nuno Gomes playing the ball into the box, Tomas Ujfalusi getting a nick on it and after Deco had been denied once by a sprawling Petr Cech, he eventually squeezes in the rebound. Harsh after a good start from the Czechs.

1706: "Does anyone else reckon Ronaldo still has one important penalty miss left in him?"
Andy, Cambridge, via text

If Portugal are awarded a penalty, it would be their first in European Championship finals history. They have gone 20 matches without one until now.

1703: Libor Sionko drifts in from the right and hits a left-foot shot that cannons off the head off Pepe and away to safety.

1701: Ronaldo, having got some joy down the left against Turkey, starts from there tonight. Crucially, it pits him against the Czech's right-back Zdenek Grygera and not their awesome left-back Marek Jankulovski.

1700: We are under way.

1658: I think the Portuguese anthem is my favourite. It just sounds so passionate. Moments away from kick-off here.

1656: "No Stevo! I just lumped a fiver on 3-1 Portugal and you've gone and jinxed it."
Kitman, Ealing, via text

1655: The teams are out. Once again, sounds like a cracking atmosphere in the Stade de Geneve.

1654: "In the first game, what did the Czechs actually create apart from the goal? Absolutely nothing. Jan Koller didn't look happy with his fitness and Milan Baros normally comes up with the goods in a Czech shirt."
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle

1652: News just in: Portugal will be wearing white.

1652: "Ronaldo is the footballing equivalent of a flat-track bully, a very good player but not great. If I was a Utd fan I would bite the hand off anyone offering 60m. You might see Rooney start to flourish once the show pony has gone."
MattChall on 606
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So you think Cristiano Ronaldo is the new Graeme Hick? Extraordinary shout.

1649: "(See 1626) Jonathan. I know the J-man and he is in fact being serious. He himself does have a shocking head of hair so disregard all that he says."
Juan, Ipswich, via text

Thanks mate, you only need to tell me Juance.

1645: "For the conspiracy theorists out there, Luiz Felipe Scolari was quoted as saying Ronaldo should move to Real a couple of weeks ago. He is now favourite for the Chelsea manager's job. Conflict of interests?"
Desolation_row on 606
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Ooh, I love a good conspiracy theory, Desolation Row.

1642: The last time these two teams met, would you believe, was at Euro 96. Ah, what a tournament that was. Anyway, it was in the quarter-finals at Villa Park and the Czechs went through 1-0 thanks to Karel Poborsky's ludicrous scoop goal. Remember?

1639: "I think this is going to be an impressive victory for the Portuguese. The attacking ability along with the solid Moutinho in the midfield with prove to be to much for the Czechs to handle. It's gonna be a cracker."
Pora Di, via text

That boy Joao Moutinho, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, is getting closer to a move to Everton. I heard 16m bandied around earlier this week. Thoughts?
Wednesday's gossip column

1634: On the subject of Cristiano Ronaldo, do we think the war of words that has broken out between Manchester United and Real Madrid will have any effect on him? He wasn't at his imperious best on Saturday for sure, but listen to any Portugal fan and they will say he's not quite the same player for them as he is for United. Does he need a great tournament to prove he is the world's undisputed number one?

1630: So something's got to give this afternoon in Geneva. The Czechs have won their last six competitive matches and are unbeaten in their last eight, while Portugal have not lost in 12 competitive games, their joint second-best run.

1626: Good work by the Czech coach to drop Koller. The guy was a chocolate teapot on Saturday. At least with Milan Baros you've got great hair."
The J-Man, Ipswich, via text

Great hair? I really, really hope you're kidding. At least Marek Jankulovski and Tomas Ujfalusi have the decency to look like warriors.

1622: "Turkey and Swiss makes a nice sandwich but probably not a nice football match... I feel a draw coming on but lets hope for a 2-2 even though my money is on another zeros match."
Bernardho on 606
Join the debate on 606

1619: "I wonder if Man Utd will report Chelsea to Fifa if Petr Cech or Ricardo Carvalho dare to speak to Ronaldo this afternoon."
Nigel, Leeds, via text

1615: "In advance, I predict that whatever Stevo's predictions are, they are wrong."
Fluorescent_Imp on 606
Join the debate on 606

That's the easiest prediction of all time! I'm going for it today - Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal and Switzerland 1-1 Turkey. Beat that.

1612: So, Czech Republic have made two changes from their opening win over Switzerland. Giant striker Jan Koller has made way for Milan Baros, while midfielder Marek Matejovsky comes in for David Jarolim. The Portuguese are unchanged, with the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo aiming to build on his performance in the win over Turkey and further stamp his audacious mark on Euro 2008.

1609: Now it's time for seconds. Group A, which failed to sparkle on Saturday, has a chance to redeem itself. First up we've got the potentially mouth-watering Czech Republic v Portugal in Geneva, the Dark Horse Derby, at 1700 BST. Then, at 1945 BST, hosts Switzerland face Turkey in Basel, with both teams trying to pick up their first points of the competition. There's a bit of history there too, more of which later. You don't need me to tell you to get texting in on 81111 and join the debate on 606.
Join the debate on 606

1605: No wonder I'm buzzing. We are right into the meat of this tournament now and it has properly taken off. Spain followed the Netherlands' lead in devastating fashion with a display of mesmerising verve and style, complete with a world-class hat-trick from the quicksilver David Villa. And then, just as Greece attempted to kill football once more, the so often infuriating talent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic rendered their efforts point-less and pointless with a goal of pure genius. The Euros are alive!

1602: TEAM NEWS Czech Republic v Portugal
Czech Republic: Cech, Grygera, Ujfalusi, Rozehnal, Jankulovski, Galasek, Sionko, Matejovsky, Polak, Plasil, Baros.
Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Petit, Joao Moutinho, Ronaldo, Deco, Simao, Nuno Gomes.

1600: Yesterday after my Euro Two Thousand And Great shift I went home and watched Match of the Day. When I woke up this morning, I turned my telly on, pressed the red button and watched the highlights of Spain 4-1 Russia (twice) and Greece 0-2 Sweden again. On my way into work just now, I found myself for the first time humming the BBC's theme tune for the Euros, dance group Unkle's version of Mozart Symphony no. 41. I think I'm in love.

BIG MATCH STATS

Head-to-heads

Turkey have won seven of the 14 previous encounters with Switzerland, and lost just four.

In eight competitive matches, Turkey emerged victorious on four occasions and Switzerland twice. They have never met at a major tournament.

Their last encounter dates back to 16 November 2005 when Turkey beat Switzerland 4-2 in a World Cup qualifying play-off. But Switzerland qualified for the 2006 World Cup as they had won the first leg 2-0.

Team facts - Switzerland

Not won any of their previous seven matches at the European Championship (two draws, five defeats). This marks the longest running winless streak in the competition.

Hoping to avoid joining Belgium (2000) as the only European Championship hosts not to survive the group stage, since the introduction of the knock-out stages in 1984.

Team facts - Turkey

Won just one of their eight matches at the European Championship. Their record of one win, one draw and six defeats is the worst by any nation that has played at least eight matches at this tournament. In those matches they have been out-scored by three goals to 11.

Since the introduction of the knock-out stages, seven teams have survived the group stage after losing their opening match. At Euro 2004, Portugal and England were the last to achieve this feat.

Player facts - Switzerland

The hosts will be without all-time top scorer Alexander Frei, who suffered a knee injury in the opening match and will miss the rest of the tournament. During Switzerland's friendly campaign over the past two years, Frei was joint top scorer with eight goals in 11 matches.

If selected, Ricardo Cabanas will make his 50th international appearance for Switzerland.

Basel native Eren Derdiyok is the only teenager amongst the 368 players that will be present at Euro 2008. He will celebrate his 20th birthday on Thursday 12 June, the day after this match.

Tranquillo Barnetta, Johan Vonlanthen and Ludovic Magnin will be suspended for the final group match if they are shown a yellow card in this match.

Player facts - Turkey

The last Turkish player to score a goal at a European Championship was Hakan Sukur. He netted twice on 19 June 2000 against Belgium (2-0) in Turkey's only ever European Championship victory.

Colin Kazim-Richards, Gokhan Zan and Sabri Sarioglu will miss Turkey's final group match if they are shown a yellow card in this match.

Big Match Stats source: Infostrada Sports




MATCH STATS: AT A GLANCE

POSSESSION

52% 48%
Switzerland Italy

Switzerland

  • 01 Benaglio
  • 20 Degen (68 Schwegler )
  • 04 Senderos
  • 13 Grichting
  • 03 Magnin (86 Ziegler )
  • 11 Padalino (83 Derdiyok )
  • 15 Fernandes
  • 08 Inler
  • 07 Barnetta (80 Vonlanthen )
  • 10 Nkufo (69 Streller )
  • 09 Frei (69 Yakin )

Italy

  • 01 Buffon
  • 02 Zambrotta (46 Santon )
  • 04 Chiellini
  • 05 Cannavaro
  • 03 Criscito
  • 07 Camoranesi (31 Pepe )
  • 06 Palombo
  • 10 Pirlo (61 D'Agostino )
  • 08 Marchisio (72 Grosso )
  • 09 Gilardino (46 Iaquinta )
  • 11 Rossi (61 Quagliarella )

Ref: Knut Kircher
Att: 31500


Group A
16 June 2008 09:44
    P GD PTS
1 Portugal 3 2 6
2 Turkey 3 0 6
3 Czech Republic 3 -2 3
4 Switzerland 3 0 3

see also
Kuhn rueful over missed chances
11 Jun 08 |  Switzerland
Bruckner buoyed by Czech display
11 Jun 08 |  Czech Rep
We can win tournament - Ronaldo
11 Jun 08 |  Portugal
Switzerland team guide
08 Jun 08 |  Switzerland
Turkey team guide
15 May 08 |  Turkey


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