Petr Cech accepted the blame for the Czech Republic’s Euro 2008 elimination last night after Turkey staged a remarkable late comeback to progress to the quarter-finals.
With the Czech Republic leading 2-1 and on course for a place in the last eight, the Chelsea goalkeeper dropped a cross at the feet of Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci who tapped the ball in to the empty net.
Two minutes later, Turkey completed a sensational comeback when Nihat added a third goal to ensure a 3-2 win for Fath Terim’s side. However, it was the howler from Cech that will be remembered as the turning point of a thrill game.
“The only positive thing about this season is that it’s over,” said Cech, who suffered ankle and facial injuries this year and lost the Champions League final. “When you make a mistake you have to admit it … It was my mistake that decided that we have to go home.”
“The ball was all the sudden too far away from me and as I tried to control it landed just in front of Nihat.
“Football is played by 11 players and unfortunately, every time it happens that some do well and some do worse.”
“The season was unbelievable, just bad luck after bad luck,” Cech said. “Whenever I happened to recover I was hit again by a disappointment from another injury, a disappointment from the defeat in the final. This is even worse because it was me who made a mistake.”
Cech acknowledged it was tougher for him to cope with the failure to win the Champions League.
“I think it was worse for me because it was the final but on the other hand I played for my country,” Cech said.
“I hope that my bad luck is over,” Cech said. “I’m looking forward to the next season with thousands of new challenges.”
Czech coach Karel Bruckner, will now retire. “I will not sleep for many nights after that,” he said.