Czechs qualify for Euro 2004

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

The Czech Republic qualified for next summer's European Championship finals in Portugal after they beat the Netherlands 3-1 in Prague on Wednesday.

Czechs qualify for Euro 2004

Prague:

The Czech Republic qualified for next summer's European Championship finals in Portugal after they beat the Netherlands 3-1 on Wednesday. The Czechs went two up through a Jan Koller penalty and a Karel Poborsky goal shortly before the break. Rafael van der Vaart scored to make it 2-1 before a Milan Baros breakaway goal wrapped things up to guarantee his side top spot in Group Three. The Czech Republic took on the Netherlands in Prague in Euro 2004 qualifying group three, with the winner near enough guaranteed a place in the finals. The match took an unexpected turn as the visitors were reduced to ten men in the 14th minute when Edgar Davids received his second yellow card for downing Karel Poborsky in the area. Jan Koller blasted home from the spot - his 27th goal in 45 internationals. From then onwards, the star-studded Dutch side went on the offensive - though they remained sadly lacking in the final third. Pavel Nedved set up a second goal in the 38th minute to put the Czechs two goals up. He put Poborsky clear and the former Manchester United player lobbed the ball over the advancing Edwin van der Sar. The Dutch carried on pressing, and finally cut the Czech advantage two minutes after the hour mark to keep their hopes alive when Rafael van der Vaart capitalized on the inability of the Czech defence to clear the ball. In the dying seconds, however, substitute Milan Baros sealed the Czech victory with a fine solo effort on the breakaway. With one match still remaining, his side now have an unassailable lead at the top of Group Three - while the Netherlands must now negotiate a playoff against another second-placed side. Both teams will wrap up their Euro 2004 qualifying campaigns on October 11th, with the Czech Republic visiting Austria and the Netherlands hosting Moldova. (AP)

Topics : Football
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