Petr Cech is among the best goal keepers in the world, but his mistake Sunday was unbelievably costly. The Czech Republic was up 2-1 in the final minutes of their game against Turkey, and it looked like the Turks were done.
That is, until Cech put his signature on the game. The 26-year old went out on a cross around the 88-minute mark and let a ball he catches 99 times out of 100 slip through his fingers. Nihat Kahveci was right there to put an exclamation mark on the screw up. 2-2.
“The only positive thing about this season is that it’s over,” said Cech. “When you make a mistake, you have to admit it. … It was my mistake that decided that we have to go home.
“The ball was all the sudden too far away from me and as I tried to control it landed just in front of Nihat. Football is played by 11 players and unfortunately, every time it happens that some do well and some do worse.”
But, it wasn’t over. About a minute and a half later Nihat was at it again, firing a ball that bounced under the crossbar and into the goal. It wasn’t Cech’s fault, but the damage was done. Turkey had recovered from a 2-0 second-half deficit to beat a superior team.
“To lose like that is just incredible,” said Czech Republic head coach Karel Bruckner. “We were three minutes from the last eight!”
Now, thanks in large part to Cech’s huge error, it will be Turkey moving on to the next round.