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Škoda drives Czech Republic to Kazakhstan win

Czech Republic 2-1 Kazakhstan
Winning only his second cap, Milan Škoda scored two headers as the hosts came from behind to post a big win in the race to qualify from Group A.

Highlights: Czech Rep 2-1 Kazakhstan
  • Two goals from Milan Škoda earn the Czech Republic a comeback win
  • Yuri Logvinenko heads Kazakhstan into a first-half lead
  • The Kazakhstan defender takes his tally against the Czechs to three
  • The visitors stay bottom of Group A, the Czechs strengthen their hold on second
  • Next matches: Latvia v Czech Republic, Iceland v Kazakhstan (Sunday)

The Czech Republic came from behind to defeat Kazakhstan in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group A, substitute Milan Škoda scoring twice in the final 16 minutes.

Yuri Krasnozhan's visitors were on course for their first victory in ten competitive matches until Škoda, making only his second senior appearance for his country, headed in his first goal with a little over a quarter of an hour left. His winner four minutes from time means Pavel Vrba's second-placed side are six points clear of the Netherlands, in third, with three fixtures to play.

Kazakhstan stroked the ball around confidently in the early stages, belying the fact they had lost their last five competitive games. They posed a threat, too, with Baurzhan Dzholchiyev flashing a shot wide from the edge of the area before centre-back Yuri Logvinenko put the underdogs in front.

Bauyrzhan Islamkhan played a corner short to Tanat Nuserbayev and stood the return ball up to the far post to be attacked. Logvinenko did so with relish, rising above Václav Procházka to power an effort past Petr Čech. It was his fourth international goal and third against the Czech Republic, following twice in the reverse fixture last October.

Stunned, the home team responded with a spell of sustained pressure, striking the bar through David Limberský's side-foot effort seven minutes before half-time. Still, they went in at the break not having had a shot on target, a statistic that did not change until Škoda levelled.

They had received a warning in between times when the well-placed Dzholchiyev skewed an effort wide, though the traffic was largely one way in the second period. The pressure told when Slavia Praha forward Škoda turned in Bořek Dočkal's right-wing centre. Škoda's late second, a header from Josef Šural's delivery, puts the Czechs within touching distance of qualification.