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Czechs certain of play-off chance

Czech Republic 3-1 Belarus
A comfortable win give means the Czech Republic are ensured at least a play-off berth for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™.

The Czech Republic's Lucie Martínková
The Czech Republic's Lucie Martínková ©Getty Images

The Czech Republic defeated Belarus 3-1 in Ludgerovice to give themselves an at least a UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ play-off berth.

Home hopes
An Irena Martinková double and another from Markéta Ryngelová helped the home side to a victory that ensures they will at least be one of the four best third-placed teams and still gives them an outside chance of finishing top of Group 1 as they sit two points behind England and Spain with one game to come. However, they would need to win by five goals in the 28 September home meeting with England and hope Spain and the current leaders draw on 2 October. The home side dominated throughout despite missing Pavlína Ščasná, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory in Belarus last August.

Comfortable win
Ryngelová opened the scoring after 18 minutes with a close-range shot. Martínková doubled the lead in the 52th minute and, after Tatjana Kiose pulled one back midway through the second half following an error from The Czech Republic goalkeeper Marcela Zbořilová, she sealed victory nine minutes before the final whistle. The hosts then created a raft of opportunities as they looked to extend the lead with both Petra Bertholdová and Eva Šmeralová hitting the bar.