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Germany thwart Czech Republic coronation

Czech Republic 1-1 Germany
Jan Tilman Kirchhoff's 72nd-minute strike earned the holders a point and prevented the Group 5 leaders from sealing top spot.

Germany's Peniel Mlapa (left) tussles with Tomáš Fabián
Germany's Peniel Mlapa (left) tussles with Tomáš Fabián ©AFP

The Czech Republic dropped their first points in Group 5 as holders Germany hit back to earn a draw in Mlada Boleslav thanks to Jan Tilman Kirchhoff's 72nd-minute strike.

A point would have assured the Czechs top spot in the section, but they must now wait until their final game at home to closest rivals Iceland on Tuesday to confirm it. Iceland, three points adrift in second, must win by two goals to clinch first place while Germany, champions in 2009, are already out of contention.

Jan Suchopárek's side had won their six previous games coming into the match, including a 2-1 win in Germany this time last year, and looked on course to make it seven from seven when Lukáš Mareček fired them ahead with a long-range strike in the 38th minute.

Third-placed Germany had won just one of their previous six outings but they battled back and drew level when Kirchhoff profited from good work by Sebastian Jung to find the net from four metres out, his goal putting the Czechs' celebrations on hold.