The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship comprises a qualifying group stage and play-off round to determine which seven teams join hosts Israel in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into ten groups – two of six teams and eight of five – and play each other on a home and away basis. The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
Play-off matches are played according to the knockout system, with each team playing each opponent home and away. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament comprises the seven play-off winners and Israel, who qualify automatically as hosts. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays each other once in their group with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A plays the Group B runner-up and vice-versa. The winners advance to the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
A fifth-minute goal from Václav Kadlec was enough for the Czech Republic to defeat Wales and move level with Armenia at the top of qualifying Group 3.
Jakub Dovalil's side started the match one off the foot of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship section but ended it in second place thanks to Kadlec's early strike. Vladimir Darida's corner picked out the unmarked Marek Hanousek and his cushioned header fell to the feet of AC Sparta Praha man Kadlec, who scooped the ball over goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.
The Czechs almost doubled their advantage six minutes later, but Lukáš Hedja's fierce shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Kieron Freeman. While the visitors clearly had the upper hand in the first half, it was not quite all one way traffic − Thomas Bradshaw forced Marek Štěch to tip his low drive around the post, Ryan Doble flashed a shot across goal, and Bradshaw failed keep his shot down.
While Kadlec then thumped another shot towards goal, which was parried by Maxwell, and Tomáš Kalas had an effort shortly before the interval, the early stages of the second half produced few chances of note.
Billy Bodin tested Štěch, but it was the visitors who looked more likely to provide the second goal, substitute Jan Chramosta's shot into the ground forcing Maxwell into a fine fingertip save. Wales pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages and were almost rewarded when Brown's looping header from Jake Howells' corner bounced off the crossbar.
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|Brian Flynn (WAL)||Jakub Dovalil (CZE)|
|Nikolaj Hänni (SUI)|
|Beat Hidber (SUI), Johann Vogel (SUI)|
|Damien Carrel (SUI)|