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Azzaoui and Teunckens inspire Belgium to victory

Czech Republic 0-3 Belgium
Jens Teunckens kept out Ondřej Lingr's penalty at 1-0 as the Red Devils defeated the Czechs, who had their keeper sent off late on.

Ismail Azzaoui celebrates with Belgium captain Wout Faes after scoring one of his two goals
Ismail Azzaoui celebrates with Belgium captain Wout Faes after scoring one of his two goals ©LAP.bg

Belgium join the Czechs on three points thanks to victory in Sozopol
Belgium's Jens Teunckens saves Ondřej Lingr's 61st-minute penalty with the score 1-0
Ismail Azzaoui scores twice; Czech Republic keeper Martin Jedlička is sent off late on
Next matches: Germany v Czech Republic, Slovenia v Belgium (Tuesday)

Belgium revived their UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group B campaign with a 3-0 triumph over the Czech Republic, Ismail Azzaoui scoring twice.

A sprightly presence on the right side of Belgium’s attack during their 2-0 loss to Germany on Wednesday, Azzaoui was all balance, poise and grace as he embarked on a solo run after picking up possession from Orel Mangala on halfway. Only the outstretched left leg of Martin Jedlička denied the Tottenham Hotspur FC player the crowning finish.

Victorious against Slovenia in their tournament opener, the Czechs forced seven corners in the first 18 minutes. They amounted to nothing, however, and Václav Černý’s side were caught cold just before the half-hour mark when Azzaoui, set away by Christophe Janssens, scored at the second attempt after his initial effort had been stopped by Jedlička.

The Czechs struggled to turn their possession and territorial advantage into meaningful chances during the first 40 minutes, Marcel Čermák responsible for their only shot on target, a strike Jens Teunckens easily dealt with.

Azzaoui was to the fore again 12 minutes into the second half, teeing up substitute Matthias Verreth on the edge of the penalty for a shot that flashed wide of Jedlička's left-hand post. Jedlička was then booked for handball, having raced 50 metres off his line to stop Azzaoui enjoying a free run on goal.

Jedlička's opposite number Teunckens preserved the Red Devils' lead with 19 minutes to go, diving to his right to save Ondřej Lingr's spot kick, Belgium captain Wout Faes – conspicuous for his David Luiz-style hair – having tripped Michal Sadílek.

A miserable afternoon for the Czech Republic was compounded when Jedlička was dimissed for bringing down Verreth and Azzaoui tucked away the penalty. Dennis Van Vaerenbergh put the icing on the cake for Belgium, shooting beyond replacement keeper Filip Truksa.

Václav Černý, Czech Republic coach
I don't feel good because we played well and wanted to win but were unable to do so. The penalty save was the crucial moment in the game. We were the better team and if we had equalised the match could have gone a different way. It's hard to say how it would have went, but it was certainly the turning point. The players are really disappointed, but tomorrow we will start preparing for our next game, against Germany.

Bob Browaeys, Belgium coach
Of course, the penalty save was the crucial moment. It was a very tough game, a difficult one for us, but the luck we were lacking against Germany was with us today. We played very well on the counterattack and had a lot of opportunities to score. Aside from the penalty, the Czech Republic didn't have great chances.