The Czech Republic earned their second EURO 2004™ qualifying victory with a 2-0 win against Belarus in Teplice, four days after winning by the same margin against Moldova.
Well-organised play from the Czechs in the first half hour was enough to ensure the three points. After just six minutes Milan Baroš, back in the starting lineup after suspension, picked out Karel Poborský with a smart pass and the most experienced player in the Czech side celebrated his 81st international match by firing the ball past the Belarussian goalkeeper, Gennadi Tumilovich.
Baroš doubles score
Midfield general Pavel Nedved, who also missed Saturday's game due to suspension, created the second goal for Baroš in the 23rd minute. Thereafter the home side kept on the offensive and created more clear-cut chances, forcing Tumilovich to make several fine saves. Meanwhile, Belarus were dealt a blow on 26 minutes when defender Sergei Yaskovich was forced off the pitch with an injury.
Goalless second half
After the interval the heavens opened and the hosts continued to dominate possession but were unable to add to their two goals. Substitute Stepán Vachousek had a good opportunity to increase the score, but his shot from close range was too weak. The visitors also had their moments but they lacked a killer touch and goalkeeper Petr Cech had little to do.
"We played pretty well in the first half but the players lost a lot of their power after the restart," said Czech coach Karel Brückner after the game. "I am satisfied that we have six points and time to improve before the next match." Meanwhile Belarus coach Edouard Malofeev said: "We suffered a double blow when we conceded an early goal and Yaskovich got injured."