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Czech Republic 2-1 Switzerland: Czechs edge entertaining opener

Czech Republic battled to victory in their UEFA Nations League Group A2 debut against 2019 semi-finalists Switzerland.

Highlights: Czech Republic 2-1 Switzerland

Djibril Sow's unfortunate own goal gave Czech Republic all three points in their Group A2 opener against Switzerland.

Key moments

11' Kuchta grabs opener for Czechs
33' Sommer keeps out Jankto effort
44' Okafor levels for Switzerland
54' Coufal rocket hits post
58' Sow own goal restores lead

Match in brief: Czechs battle to victory in Prague

The game got off to a fast start and it was the home side who took the lead slightly against the run of play, when the Swiss defence failed to deal with Vladimír Coufal's long throw and Jan Kutcha tapped in at the far post.

Switzerland celebrate Noah Okafor's leveller
Switzerland celebrate Noah Okafor's levellerAFP via Getty Images

Yann Sommer made a brilliant save to deny Jakub Jankto as the hosts looked for a second, but it was all square on the stroke of half-time when Noah Okafor blasted in from close range.

Switzerland started the second half on the front foot, but Coufal thumped an effort against the post before his side regained the lead when Jankto's cross took a huge deflection off Djibril Sow and bounced past Sommer.

As it happened: Czech Republic 2-1 Switzerland

Ondřej Zlámal, match reporter

The Czechs have secured a very precious win against very strong opponents. Their tactical plan worked, goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík marked his 50th cap with a fantastic performance, Kuchta brought effectiveness to their attack and Tomáš Souček marshalled the midfield. Switzerland wasted too many good chances and will know they needed to be much more clinical in front of goal.


Tomáš Vaclík, Czech Republic goalkeeper: "I am glad we have won tonight. It was my 50th cap and I played against eight of my former team-mates. We knew the Swiss would start off the second half strongly after scoring before the break, it was good we survived the pressure. I knew we were well-prepared."

Murat Yakin, Switzerland coach: "We had good moments in both halves. We created several good opportunities, but the goalkeeper managed to prevent three or four goals. We deserved more, but we have to learn our lesson and play better next time."

Jan Kuchta, Czech Republic striker: "We really appreciate the win. We all fought hard for it. We missed a few players, but showed that if we play as a team we may win such big games as the one tonight."

Switzerland's Sommer pulls off smart save

Key stats

  • Czech Republic have opened the scoring in each of their six UEFA Nations League home games.
  • Murat Yakin's side have won only one of their eight UEFA Nations League matches outside of Switzerland.
  • The Czechs have scored inside of the opening 18 minutes in five of their six UEFA Nations League home games.
  • Jaroslav Šilhavý's team have never drawn a UEFA Europa Nations League match (W7 L4).
  • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, this was only Switzerland's third defeat in their last 22 games, winning 11 of those.


Czech Republic: Vaclík; Zima, Brabec, Krejčí; Coufal, Sadílek (Kavlach 84), Souček, Zelený (Matějů 87); Jankto (Lingr 67), Kuchta (Pešek 67), Hložek (Jurečka 87)

Switzerland: Sommer; Widmer, Elvedi, Schär, Rodríguez (Lotomba 87); Sow (Zuber 68), Freuler, Xhaka, Vargas (Seferović 87); Embolo (Gavranović 90), Okafor (Shaqiri 68)

What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?

The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.

The teams finishing fourth in the groups in Leagues A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.