Wroclaw: The Czech Republic's much needed 2-1 victory over Greece at the European Championship came at a cost: captain Tomas Rosicky injured his Achilles tendon and is doubtful for its final Group A game.
Rosicky had to be substituted at half-time on Tuesday, having gestured to his team-mates in the last minutes before the break not to send him any passes. The playmaker said he was kicked during the first half and felt pain after he made a sharp turn. "I have a problem with my Achilles tendon and have no idea what to expect next, I'm afraid," Rosicky said. "From about the 20th minute on, I could barely walk."
A key player for his team, the midfielder's creative skills were instrumental in Czech Republic's 2-0 lead at half-time. He was replaced by Daniel Kolar for the second half. "We played great the first half and deserved to go 2-0 up," Rosicky said. "We started actively, exactly how we wanted to, and were rewarded by the goals."
Without Rosicky on the bench, Greece pulled a goal back through substitute Fanis Gekas after a rare mistake by goalkeeper Petr Cech, who failed to hold on to an easy ball and bumped into defender Tomas Sivok.
The Greeks piled on the pressure but the Czech defence, unlike in their opening 4-1 defeat by Russia, held firm. "I didn't see the second half," said Rosicky, who was treated by a team physiotherapist. "It's a great joy we won but it is spoiled by the injury."
Rosicky missed Euro 2008 because of an injury and the Czechs collapsed in their final group match against Turkey, exiting the tournament. "[Rosicky's] substitution was a problem for us," coach Michal Bilek said. "The last 30 minutes were hard to survive."
Rosicky had injured a calf muscle in Arsenal's last Premier League match on May 13 and only recovered last week. "We pray for him to recover," central defender Tomas Sivok said.
Attacking midfielder Vaclav Pilar, who scored the first goal on Tuesday and benefited from Rosicky's passes, was on the same wavelength. "It's a huge loss to play without Tomas," Pilar said. "He's an absolutely essential player for us and we missed him dearly [in the second half]."
The Czech Republic face Poland in their final Group A match on Saturday.
"He still gets three days to get better and hopefully he makes it," Cech said.