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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Czech boss laments Polak red card
Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner
Czech coach Karel Bruckner believes Jan Polak's sending off at the end of the first half consigned his side to their 2-0 defeat against Italy.

"Playing with 10 men was just too difficult," said Bruckner as his team were eliminated from the competition after finishing third in Group E.

"We lost a lot of players before the game and had suspensions which hurt us in this tournament.

"It is too early to assess and think about what might happen in the future."

The Czechs were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Polak picked up his second yellow card in first-half injury time.

The result meant Italy won the group with seven points, while African side Ghana grabbed the second qualification spot after their 2-1 win over USA.

The second-ranked Czech Republic finished with only the three points earned in an opening 3-0 win over the United States and saw Tomas Ujfalusi sent off in their 2-0 loss to Ghana.

"We had to play twice against strong opponents with only 10 men," Czech coach Karel Bruckner said.

"It was almost impossible. We were troubled by a number of problems including our own mistakes."

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