Illustration photo – Rejoicing Czech under-21 footballers (from left) Adam Gabriel and Kryštof Daněk, September 27, 2022.
Batumi (Georgia) – The Czech under-21 football team will face the reigning champions from Germany in Sunday's second match at the European Championship. Coach Jan Suchopárek's men entered the tournament with a 0:2 defeat against England on Thursday, the Germans defended their gold with a surprising 1:1 draw with Israel. The “lion cubs” will thus avert the threat of elimination, a second defeat would mean the end of the championship for them after only two of the three rounds of Group C. The match in the Georgian city of Batumi kicks off at 18:00 CET.
The Czech youngsters kept pace with favored England in the opening half, but failed to convert several promising chances. Jacob Ramsey opened the scoring shortly after the change of sides and substitute Emile Smith Rowe added the insurance in a set-up.
“The championship is definitely not over for us and I believe that we will score goals in the next matches. The first half showed that the players are well prepared. But the goals scored are decisive,” said Suchopárek at the press conference. “Now we have to win at least one match and then hope. Or win both and hopefully we'll be fine,” added goalkeeper Vítězslav Jaroš.
The Germans threw away two penalty kicks against Israel and did not use a half-time long power play. The first penalty was missed by Youssouf Moukoko in the third minute and the second by substitute Jessic Ngankam in the 80th minute with the score 1:1. The only goal for the favorite was scored by Yann Aurel Bisseck in the 26th minute.
“We are disappointed that we let this chance slip away. The match with the Czech Republic will be interesting and important for both teams. I am optimistic, I believe that in we will win with him,” said coach Antonio Di Salvo.
His predecessor Stefan Kuntz's team won the third gold in history and the second of the last three championships after a 1-0 final win over Portugal the year before. In addition, the Germans reached the finals in all of the past three ECs. The Czech Under-21 team faced Germany at Euro 2017 in Poland, where they suffered a 0-2 defeat.
“Germany won nine matches and lost only one in the qualification, which shows the great strength of their team. It is also one of the favorites for the championship, which relies on excellent players from the Bundesliga. But I believe that just as Poland beat them in the qualifiers, we are also capable of tormenting such a team and getting a good result with them,” said Suchopárek about Sunday's opponent before the tournament .
“Lion cubs” will close the group with a duel with Israel in Kutaisi on Wednesday. The first two teams from each of the four groups advance to the elimination phase. In addition to Georgia, the tournament is also co-hosted by Romania.
The Czech under-21 national team is participating in the European Championship for the tenth time since the division of the federation, in the last three participations they were eliminated in the group each time. Her greatest success is the gold in 2002.
Predicted Czech squad: Jaroš – Gabriel, Vitík, Hranáč, Pech – Kaloč, Červ – Šulc, Žambůrek, Karabec – Sejk.< /p>