Wroclaw: Poland`s Euro 2012 exit after their 0-1 defeat to the Czech Republic is a "bitter pill to swallow" for the co-hosts, outgoing coach Franciszek Smuda has said.
Petr Jiracek`s 72nd-minute strike put paid to Poland`s campaign in brutal style Saturday, making for something of an anti-climax in the country where hopes were high of a quarterfinal berth.
It was a disappointing finish to the tournament for Poland after two opening draws set up the chance to progress to the knockout stage with three points against the Czechs.
"We have to swallow this bitter pill," said Smuda, who resigned after loss to the Czechs. "I think that probably we were too sure about the possibility of winning against the Czech Republic," he added.
Smuda, 63, praised the Czechs, who were far livelier than the lethargic Poles throughout most of the 90 minutes.
"We had opportunities before half time, we didn`t take advantage of them, and we lost the game," he said.
Smuda spent more than two years building a team worthy of host status.
"For these 2 1/2 years we have created a team we can count on in the future," he said.
"They were not perfect, they were not as good as we imagined, but this is football."
First Published: Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:07