The Czech Republic made it six wins from as many matches in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 5 with a 5-0 victory over San Marino, Tomáš Pekhart scoring a first-half hat-trick of headers.
The FK Jablonec striker struck three in his team's 8-0 victory against the same opponents earlier in the campaign, and repeated the feat before half-time in Prague. Jan Kovařík was also on target midway through the first period, with Jan Chramosta completing the scoring from the penalty spot two minutes after the interval. Jan Suchopárek's team lead second-placed Iceland by two points with a game in hand.
Pekhart headed in Ondřej Čelůstka's inviting cross from the right and repeated the feat from Kovařík's delivery from the opposite flank. San Marino goalkeeper Mattia Manzaroli, who impressed throughout, denied Marcel Gecov on 22 minutes but was powerless to prevent Kovařík dispatching the rebound. Pekhart headed in his third five minutes before the break from Lukáš Vácha's corner, before drawing the foul from Michele Cervellini which allowed Chramosta to do the necessary from the spot.
The Czech Republic will be confirmed as group winners if they defeat holders Germany, now eliminated after losing 4-1 to Iceland tonight, on 3 September, four days before they meet their nearest rivals in Jablonec.