The Czech Republic came from a goal down to inflict an opening-day defeat on UEFA European Under-19 Championship hosts Romania in Group A.
Lucian Burchel's home side made the breakthrough on the half-hour in unusual cicrcumstances, Nicolae Stanciu's cross catching out Tomáš Koubek. The Czech goalkeeper's blushes were spared just before the interval when Tomáš Přikryl levelled and Jaroslav Hřebík's side were in front a minute past the hour, Tomáš Jeleček holding his nerve to convert a penalty. They made sure when Vojtěch Hadaščok added a late third.
Both sides began positively in Chiajna, Koubek saving Ionuţ Peteleu's header in the second minute – the Romania right-back went off injured shortly afterwards – and Jiří Skalák promptly going close at the other end. The Czech No9's effort beat goalkeeper Laurenţiu Brănescu, and it took a goal-line clearance from Adrian Avrămia to keep the scoresheet blank.
That took on added significance in the 30th minute as Stanciu attempted a cross from the right and inadvertently exposed Koubek, the ball dropping into the far corner to delight the sizeable home crowd. The lead could have been doubled two minutes later, a shaken Koubek presenting the ball to Tiberiu Serediuc and watching in relief as the Romania No11 failed to find the unguarded net.
A minute before half-time the Czechs capitalised on that let-off, Ladislav Krejčí sliding a pass through for Přikryl to show good strength and equalise from close range. The game turned on its head 16 minutes after half-time when Sebastian Remeş tugged Tomáš Kalas' shirt and Jeleček sent Brănescu the wrong way from the spot.
The goalkeeper quickly tipped over from Pavel Kadeřábek to keep his team in the contest, before Koubek was called into action by substitute Patrick Walleth as Romania pressed for a late leveller. Instead Hadaščok increased the Czech advantage five minutes from time, meaning the hosts must regroup to face Greece on Saturday when the Republic of Ireland are the opponents for the Czechs.
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