The Euro 2008 finals commenced on Saturday as the first round of matches in Group A were played out. Co-hosts Switzerland took on the Czech Republic in the opening match and then it was the mighty Portugal against Turkey.
The Swiss lost to the Czechs 1-0 in spite of more ball possession and more shots on target and this is what the Swiss coach Kobi Kuhn had to say after the match:
“We can leave the stadium with our heads held high after this performance.
“It was a fully undeserved defeat. We had enough chances to at least draw the game, if not win it. Now the only thing to do is cross the game from our minds and go and win our next game.”
Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta added:
“It is very, very bitter that Alexander Frei has been ruled out. Even without Alex we put pressure on the Czechs and had our chances.”
The disappointment is huge, as the Czechs only really had one opportunity.”
The Czech national team coach Karel Brackner was quite honest in his analysis of the match and said:
“If we had lost the game, we would have endangered our chances of progressing. We were lined up very defensively. In the next game we’ll have to be more offensive.
“But in the end we had a little luck.”
In the other match in Group A, competition favourites Portugal comfortably saw off outsiders Turkey 2-0. Portugal nation team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had this to say after the match:
“This result has a big importance, because it is always positive to get a win right in the start of a competition that is so complicated.
“Now, we have 50% of our work done. Everyone knows that in a four-team group six points are enough to go through.
“We played very well the entire game, with good technical quality and also physical condition. The whole group showed a lot of dedication and that is crucial.
“How far we can go playing like this? For now, until the second phase, the quarterfinals, then it will be step by step.”
Portugal defender Pepe, who scored the first goal for his nation against the Turks in Geneva on Monday added:
“The most important thing is to leave the stadium with the three points.”
“The first goal was incorrectly ruled out because I was not in offside position, but I did not lower my head and I kept trying to help the team… fortunately, I scored again.
“With the help of my team-mates and always working very hard, I can give the Portuguese people many joys.”