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EURO 2012: Defeated Poles exit Euro-2012 with dignity
WROCLAW, Poland: Crushed by their Euro 2012 exit, Poland fans accepted their 0-1 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic Saturday in the southwestern city of Wroclaw, with dignity and good sportsmanship.
“Of course I’m sad, but it’s not a tragedy — it’s not the end of the world,” said Poland fan Adam, his face painted in his country’s national red-and-white.
“Congratulations to the Czechs,” added the 40-something Pole who travelled from the nearby coal mining city of Katowice with friends to watch the match in a cafe on Wroclaw’s picturesque central square.
“We’ll play to the very end,” cheered the Poles after Czech Petr Jiracek scored what turned out to be the the winning goal in the 72nd minute of play.
Dorota, a waitress serving guests at the cafe could not hide her tears as they streaked the red-and-white flags painted on her cheeks.
“But it’s the best team that won today,” she added.
Starting Saturday morning, masses of Polish and Czech fans flooded into Wroclaw for the decisive match. Decked out in their national colours and equipped with flags, “vuvuzela” trumpets and beer, they added an aura of festivity to the city.
“He who scored won,” said Czech construction worker Mirek Novak, 30, who drove from Prague with friends. -- AFP