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Draw in Montenegro puts Czechs through

Montenegro 0-0 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic secured the point they needed to assure themselves of top spot in Group 3 and a place in the play-offs with a game to spare.

Jakub Dovalil's team are through to the play-offs
Jakub Dovalil's team are through to the play-offs ©Action Images

The Czech Republic booked a place in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs courtesy of a goalless draw in Montenegro.

The Czechs knew that only Armenia could catch them heading into their final two qualifiers, but their superior head-to-head record meant only a point against either Montenegro or Wales, who visit Jablonec on Monday, would suffice.

"This was a very tough game for us, because we played without six first-team players," said Czech coach Jakub Dovalil. "The most important thing is that we secured a place in the play-offs, which was our objective before this qualifying campaign. Now we wait for the draw and prepare to do our best in those two matches."

It was not all plain sailing against Montenegro, though, with the hosts' captain Stefan Mugoša denied on the goal line inside ten minutes. The Czechs also threatened early on, Jan Lecjaks striking a post from 25 metres, before Marek Hanousek missed from close range with ten minutes left of the first half.

The visitors upped the ante after the break, but the Montenegrin back line stood firm. They needed good fortune, however, with Tomáš Wágner's header only kept out by the woodwork. Danijel Petković saved superbly twice in the closing stages, but the Czechs had done enough. They conclude their campaign at home to Wales on Monday, when third-placed Montenegro host Armenia.