The Czech Republic narrowed the gap on England at the top of Group 1 with a resounding 4-0 win at home to Northern Ireland to boost their hopes of qualifying for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ in Finland.
Lucie Martínková scored twice and Eva Šmeralová and Kateřina Došková were also on the scoresheet as the home side made light of star player Pavlína Ščasná's absence through injury. The Czech Republic dominated from kick off and went into the break deservedly 2-0 in front, Šmeralová opening the scoring on 21 minutes before Martínková doubled the advantage just before half-time.
Northern Ireland's best chance came shortly after the interval when Kimberley Turner broke clear but Czech Republic goalkeeper Marcela Zbořilová made the save as her opponent bore down on goal. Martínková put the game beyond doubt when she struck home a powerful penalty on 78 minutes then Došková fired past Emma Higgins to complete the rout late on. The Czech Republic next face Spain on 8 May, when victory would guarantee them a play-off spot at least. Northern Ireland play Spain on 28 May still looking for their first points in the section.