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Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 09:55 UK

Cech devastated by late mistake

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Turkey cashed in on Petr Cech's fumble

Goalkeeper Petr Cech was disconsolate after his late error contributed to the Czech Republic's Euro 2008 exit at the hands of Turkey on Sunday.

Cech, who lost the Champions League final with Chelsea in May and has had a bad run of injuries, dropped a cross that led to Turkey's equalising goal.

"The only positive thing about this season is that it's over," said Cech, whose side lost 3-2 and now go home.

"The season was unbelievable, just bad luck after bad luck."

The Czechs looked to be cruising to the quarter-finals after going 2-0 ahead in their final Group A game.

But Turkey pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left and Cech's howler allowed Nihat Kahveci to level the scores at 2-2, with three minutes left.

Kahveci then stunned the Czechs with a late winner in the 90th minute to end their hopes of a place in the knockout stages.

Cech admitted to his costly mistake

Cech added: "When you make a mistake, you have to admit it. It was my mistake that decided that we have to go home.

"The ball was all the sudden too far away from me and as I tried to control it landed just in front of Nihat.

"Football is played by 11 players and, unfortunately, every time it happens that some do well and some do worse."

The keeper accepted full responsibility for his side's dramatic exit, claiming that Turkey's winner came as a result of his howler.

"My mistake was such a shock for everyone. I think the third goal was a consequence of the second one," he stated.

"When I went for the cross I knew I was alone. I didn't want to punch it. I wanted to take it at the second time and then suddenly the ball was too far.

"I should have just punched the ball - now I know."

Czech boss Karel Bruckner felt his team wilted under pressure.

"The third goal was an error and led to our collapse," said Bruckner, who had announced he would retire after his side's Euro 2008 campaign.

"To lose such a match is incredible, there was 15 minutes left when Turkey's first goal went in, they just kept coming until we lost.

"We buckled under the pressure, it is going to take many nights to get over this game.

"The match had started really well. We established a strategy with Koller as our target man, thereby creating as much space as possible.

"That stopped us from coming under pressure and it worked. After we went 2-0 up we created several chances to go 3-0 up and that would have been it.

"But the reality is different. Instead of that, we badly handled the end of the match.

"The left side of my defence was creaking. We retreated more and more.

"It was just not possible to break out and play a bit. The Turks made it 2-1 then it was 2-2 because of an individual mistake.

"To lose like that is just incredible. We were three minutes from the last eight."

Czech captain Tomas Ujfalusi was left equally shocked at the way he and his team-mates let their lead slip.

"We led 2-0 and should have controlled things from there," he commented.

"But we completely messed up the end of the match. We went on to the back foot after their first goal and all we can say is we are distraught."

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
Turkey 3-2 Czech Republic
15 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Euro 2008 day nine as it happened
15 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Group A photos
15 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Turkey team guide
15 May 08 |  Turkey
Czech Republic team guide
15 May 08 |  Czech Rep

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