Turkey loss casts a shadow over Bruckner and Koller's departure
Karel Bruckner admitted Monday after his side's 3-2 defeat to Turkey the previous night that his final game in charge of the Czech Republic after six-and-a-half years at the helm had been a disappointing one. ( dpa )
The Czechs led 2-0 and seemed to be cruising into the last eight but Arda Turan pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining and two goals in the last three minutes of regulation time by captain Nihat Karveci sealed an incredible comeback for the Turks.
"It's difficult. I have to learn to live again," said Bruckner in a press conference at the team's base in Seefeld.
"One game has to be your last. It doesn't matter if it's a group game or the maybe the final later."
Veteran striker Jan Koller, who netted his 55th international goal on his 90th appearance to open the scoring for the Czechs, goalkeeper Jaromir Blazek and midfielder Tomas Galasek all announced their retirement from the national team Monday.
Czech football federation vice-president Vlastimil Kostal offered Bruckner the opportunity to stay on as an advisor to the national team but the 69-year-old refused to be drawn on the idea, saying it was "the first I have heard of it."
Assistant coach Petr Rada, Slavia Prague coach Karel Jarolim and Viteszvak Lavicka of Sparta Prague are all believed to be in the frame to replace Bruckner.