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Monday, July 05, 2004
The Greece fairytale goes on after a 1-0 victory against a crestfallen Czech Republic last night secured their place in Sunday's UEFA EURO 2004™ final against Portugal. The sheer emotion of it all was almost too much for the countries' respective newspapers to take ...
In the final. Greece are in the final. Greece are in the final of the EURO! We're writing this so we can believe it! We're writing this so it can sink in! Nothing now can stop us ... Everything feels like a dream. It happened in the final minute of the first half of extra time when Greece won a corner. Vassilios Tsiartas sent the ball sweetly into the Czech defence, to the head of the 'Colossus', Traianos Dellas. Greeks abroad are out on the streets ... We are on our way to lift the trophy. (Ethnos)
Unbelievable ... but we're in the final. Greece are in the final of the EURO. It's not a lie, it's true! Otto's men have again made us proud. It was with a dream header from Traianos Dellas in the 105th minute that Greece beat the Czech Republic 1-0. Oh Lord, what are we living to see! Hosts Portugal, you wanted us, now you have us! No one slept last night. The entire country was out on the street. (Sportime)
It hurts! Hopes have died and prayers were left unanswered. What a cruel, unimaginable, strange end. After all that the Czech football warriors did in Portugal, a bronze medal is little reward, far too little ... Things went wrong when Pavel Nedved went off injured and the strikers lost their luck. The Greeks dominated in extra time and Dellas' head brought the pain. (Blesk)
It is a cruel irony that the Czech team lost by conceding their first goal from a corner in three years. Their stubborn opponents sat back while Baroš was guarded by several players and did not score a goal in a match for the first time in the championship. Poborský will not win his 100th cap on Sunday, Nedved has lost his dream. His last European Championship is over. No wonder the players had tears in their eyes. (MfDnes)
Thirty matches later, the two teams who opened this tournament will meet again in the final. On the opening day the result was a surprise to everybody, with the hosts losing to a defensive Greece team. But on Sunday Portugal will find a different team after Greece's victories over France and the Czech Republic. We may be more motivated but so are they. Portugal must be wary of a Greek team who reached the final after scoring the wining goal in the last minute of the first half of extra time, counting once more on the help of the Greek gods. (A Bola)