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Banbury Cross

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Post details: History repeats itself

History repeats itself

After losing to Ghana 0:2, we lost to Italy with the same score. And much like against Ghana, one of our players was sent off. At the World Cup level, where nations present their best talent, playing ten men against eleven is murderous. Twice in three games, we became handicapped. Ten men can sometimes hold the draw, like Trinidad and Tobago did against Sweden. But to turn the score around against Italy is a Herculean effort and our only Hercules (the 6'7" striker Jan Koller) got injured in the first game.

Few seconds before the Ghana's first goal, Tomas Ujfalusi didn't quite reach the ball with his head and that little mistake was immediately punished. And it was Ujfalusi who was later sent off, leaving the team in a very precarious position.

In today's game history repeated itself. After Italy's corner Jan Polak didn't quite reach the ball with his head and Materazzi scored. And Jan Polak was also the player who was expelled and effectively sent his team packing.

But this parallel is also misleading. In the game against Ghana we were simply outclassed. Today we played well and with eleven people we could have won. Nedved played an excellent game, he was everywhere, shooting hard and fighting fiercely for every ball. Even inexperienced Kovac, who played instead of Ujfalusi, was confident and guarded his half of the penalty box with a poise of an old veteran.

But with most of our offense injured and Lady Luck indolent we have no more place at the soccer fiesta. We have to thank an exceptional generation of players (Nedved, Koller, Poborsky and Galasek) and start thinking about EURO 2008.

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