https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k953mUybG_o

Georgia nearly caused a bigger shock than their 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic in Group F of Euro 2024

If substitute Saba Lobzhanidze had capitalized on a chance in the 95th minute, newcomers Georgia might have achieved more than just a draw against the Czech Republic in Group F of Euro 2024.

Georgia nearly caused a bigger shock than their 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic in Group F of Euro 2024.

Despite being significantly superior in both strength and experience, the Czech Republic couldn’t overcome the brilliance of goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili. On the contrary, they were pierced first by Georges Mikautadze’s penalty in stoppage time of the first half. Although Patrik Schick equalized early in the second half, coach Ivan Hasek’s squad was likely relieved to avoid defeat against a team making their Euro debut.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, the Czech Republic pushed forward and were counter-attacked when only Tomas Holes was left at home. This defender faced three Georgian players, all of whom had entered the field in the second half and were still full of energy. However, even though Giorgi Chakvetadze’s pass put Saba Lobzhanidze in a favorable position, the latter shot sky-high from a distance of 13 meters, causing Georgian fans in the stands to groan in regret.

This was also the last play of the match. After the referee blew the final whistle, many Georgian players collapsed on the pitch. Lobzhanidze covered his face with his jersey. If he had scored, Georgia would have made history with their first victory at the Euros. Nevertheless, the Georgian players still went to the fan section and thanked them with the “Icelandic clap” celebration. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic also showed regret for not being able to gain three points. Rated as the second strongest team in Group F, just behind Portugal, coach Ivan Hasek’s team now has to beat Turkey in the final round to hope to advance.

In this match, the Czech Republic chose a relatively cautious approach, showing respect for their opponents. Like the match they lost to Turkey, Georgia still displayed an aggressive, fast-paced style of play, with wingers Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikautadze as the launch pads. Before the game, there were rumors that Kvaratskhelia and Mikautadze got injured due to a collision during warm-up. However, seeing how these two players ran, Georgian fans could rest assured.

Not only were they excited on the pitch, Georgian fans were also more passionate in the stands. They continuously cheered and fired up the players, making the whistles from Czech fans seem feeble. To reduce their opponents’ momentum, the Czech Republic played hard. This was probably the match with the most yellow cards so far in Euro 2024, with a total of nine cards, five for the Czech Republic and four for Georgia.

However, being too excited can sometimes be a weakness for newcomers. Georgia’s inexperience showed as they repeatedly made mistakes in defense during the early minutes of the match. However, in the Georgian lineup, goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili played very calmly. Within a minute, he consecutively blocked three close-range shots, one from Adam Hlozek and two from Patrik Schick. When Mamardashvili was finally beaten, luck was on Georgia’s side when VAR intervened, cancelling Hlozek’s goal due to a handball.

At the end of the first half, Georgia surprisingly created a twist in a free-kick situation. It seemed like the danger had passed for the Czech Republic when goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek stopped Guram Kashia’s close-range shot. But after reviewing VAR, the referee found Robin Hranac handled the ball in the box and awarded Georgia a penalty. Center-back Hranac was having an unfortunate tournament. In the 1-2 loss to Portugal, he made serious mistakes in both conceded goals, including an own goal. From the penalty spot, Mikautadze shot to the right, tricking Stanek to put Georgia ahead. The Czech Republic immediately had a chance to equalize, but once again, Patrik Schick’s shot inside the box couldn’t get past Mamardashvili’s hands.

About 10 minutes into the second half, seeing that the home team’s play didn’t change much, coach Hasek started to make substitutions. His adjustments worked. Substitute Ondrej Lingr hit the post with a header from a corner, sending the ball to Schick’s position for the striker to easily finish with his chest, equalizing the score.

The Czech Republic proved to be particularly dangerous in set-piece situations. However, headers from Ladislav Krejci and Mojmir Chytil didn’t hit the target. When Lingr got his shot on target, Mamardashvili dove to block. The Czech Republic had a total of 12 shots on target in the match. This is the team with the most accurate shots without winning since this statistic started being recorded at the Euros in 1980. Despite attacking a lot without scoring, the Czech Republic nearly tasted defeat at the end of the match. But Lobzhanidze’s miss helped them avoid a second consecutive loss.

Goals

Georgia: Mikautadze (45’+4, pen)

Czech Republic: Schick (59′)

Lineups

Georgia: Mamardashvili; Kvirkvelia, Kashia, Dvali; Kakabadze, Mekvabishvili, Kochorashvili, Tsitaishvili (Chakvetadze 62′); Davitashvili (Lochoshvili 62′); Mikautadze, Kvaratskhelia (Lobzhanidze 83′).

Czech Republic: Stanek; Holes, Hranac, Krejci; Coufal, Soucek, Provod (Barák 82′), D. Jurásek; Cerny (M. Jurásek 55′); Schick (Chytil 68′), Hlozec (Lingr 55′).

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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