Poland coach Franciszek Smuda mourned
the end of their "great adventure" as the co-hosts slumped out
of Euro 2012 after a 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic in the
final Group A game.
The Poles, who had fought bravely in a 1-1 draw with Russia
on Tuesday, never showed the same application in a game played
in very wet conditions.
"We did what we could do. I don't know how to explain the
fact that in one game the boys played like they were fired up
while in the second game they didn't," Smuda told reporters.
"It is the end of this great adventure".
Poland were hampered by the fact that they had automatically
qualified for the tournament as co-hosts and did not get the
chance to improve their performances in competitive matches.
In hindsight, their failure to reach the quarter-finals was
perhaps sealed in the first game when they allowed 10-man Greece
to equalise and escape with a 1-1 draw.
"All in all, we had great moments during this tournament and
all we can say is 'Thanks'," said captain Jakub Blaszczykowski,
scorer of a thunderous goal against the Russians.
"This is the kind of a moment when one needs to say we need
to move on, rethink everything, but such experience is
essential," he told reporters.
Poland finished bottom with two points behind Group A
winners the Czech Republic, Greece and Russia. Co-hosts Ukraine
play England in their final match on Tuesday.
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