Kliment hat-trick earns Czech win against Serbia
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Serbia 0-4 Czech Republic
Jan Kliment hit a stunning hat-trick as the hosts swept aside Serbia to record their biggest U21 EURO final tournament win.
Article top media content
• Czechs revive ambitions of semi berth with record finals win; Serbia's record defeat
• Jan Kliment scores twice in the opening 21 minutes
• Václav Kadlec hits the bar and Czechs miss a clutch of chances in a fine first-half display
• Kliment completes only the third ever U21 EURO final tournament hat-trick
• Next games: Serbia face Denmark, Czechs play Germany on 23 June
Jan Kliment scored a hat-trick to help defeat Serbia 4-0 and raise the Czech Republic's hopes of progressing to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.
Promising but ultimately unsuccessful in their opening Group A encounter, the hosts quickly added an end product to their play at the Letná Stadium. A delightful move involving Václav Kadlec and overlapping full-back Matěj Hybš led to the ball being pulled back for the unmarked Kliment to fire high into the net. It set the tone for a top-grade Czech display.
Kliment then burst clear only to be denied by the legs of Marko Dmitrović, who watched as Jiří Skalák shot wide from close range with the goal gaping just seconds later. Kadlec, suspended for the opening game, also rattled the bar in an irresistible spell of Czech pressure.
They had created – and missed – chances while leading in their opening game, but Jakub Dovalil claimed the lessons of the 2-1 defeat to Denmark had been learned. His squad proved him right when Hybš and Skalák combined. Dmitrović pushed out the latter's shot, but Kliment snapped up the rebound.
Tomáš Koubek palmed away Miloš Jojić's toe-poked effort just before the break, which marked Serbia's only significant threat of the game. In response, Martin Frýdek forced an instinctive stop from Dmitrović after a deft flick from the irrepressible Kliment.
The Jihlava forward only came into Dovalil's plans just before the tournament, but his clinically-taken third – slotting home having rounded Dmitrović – suggested he will remain in them for some time to come. It was only the third U21 EURO final tournament hat-trick after Marcus Berg (2009) and Thiago Alcântara (2013).
Kliment, who has only scored three goals during his Czech top-flight career, was not on hand when Skalák nipped to the by-line and crossed just before the hour, but Frýdek was. He steered a volley into the far corner to complete the most convincing win of the tournament to date.