Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cech Carries the Can as Turks Fightback Ends Season of Hell; (1) Must Do Petr: Cech Drops a Clanger to Hand the Turks a Place in the Quarter- Finals of Euro 2004 and End His Season on a Painful Low (2) That Just about Caps It: Petr Cech Kicks His Skullcap in Disgust at the Czechs Exit

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cech Carries the Can as Turks Fightback Ends Season of Hell; (1) Must Do Petr: Cech Drops a Clanger to Hand the Turks a Place in the Quarter- Finals of Euro 2004 and End His Season on a Painful Low (2) That Just about Caps It: Petr Cech Kicks His Skullcap in Disgust at the Czechs Exit

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Chadband

Czech Republic 2 Turkey 3

PETR CECH raked unhappily over the ashes of his 2008 campaign, remembering theinjuries, the unexpected mistakes, the wretched luck, the Champions LeagueFinal near-miss and now, to cap it all, this, the mother of all big-matchgoalkeeping boo-boos.

"The only positive thing about this season is that it's over," he said betweengritted teeth." One huge, tournament-blowing blunder could never define acareer as dazzling as Cech's but, for a man widely portrayed as the world'sNo1, the Chelsea goalkeeper knew that the error which contributed most to oneof the European Championships' greatest comebacks had scarred his reputation.

"I know my mistake is the reason we are going home. It sums up my wholeseason," said Cech after his Czech Republic side had seen a 2-0 leadsensationally overturned by three Turkish goals in the last 15 minutes.

It says much about Cech's character that he was prepared to face the mediainterrogation and shoulder the entire blame for gifting an astonished,neversay-die Turkish side their passport to the last eight.

His calamity seemed particularly shocking because not so long ago, as everyChelsea fan would attest, Cech appeared almost unbeatable.

Only the aura of infallibility had already been drip, drip, dripping away thisseason with the odd ugly error defiling the routine mastery. Like gifting awinner to William Gallas at Arsenal and making uncharacteristic howlers at hometo Aston Villa in the Premier League and Liverpool in the Champions League.

Yet even he must have known this one was almost unforgivable. Already annoyedwith himself for letting the Turks back into the game at 2-1 when beaten at hisnear post by Arda Turan's shot, there seemed no way that, with three minutesleft, he could drop a simple cross with no one around him.

"The ball was all of a sudden too far away from me and, as I tried to control,it landed just in front of Nihat," said Cech. …

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