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The BBC's John Murray
"France still looking good"
 real 28k

Friday, 16 June, 2000, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Djorkaeff puts Czechs out
Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry puts France ahead
Czech Republic 1-2 France
Bruges

French substitute Youri Djorkaeff notched up a second-half winner to secure the World Champions a Euro 2000 quarter-finals spot and force the Czech Republic out of the tournament.

The playmaker, a replacement for Emmanuel Petit, struck on the hour mark just when it seemed that the Eastern Europeans may have a chance of pulling off an upset victory.

After a stirring first half performance, the Czechs underperformed during the second period and seemed to have accepted their fate long before the final whistle.

This was not an especially accomplished performance from Roger Lemerre's side, but they join Italy as the second team to make the final eight.

Pavel Nedved nearly scored his country's first goal of the tournament after a minute with a rasping left footed drive which Fabien Barthez palmed away.

Four minutes later, Jan Koller rose above his marker Petit at the near post to head Jiri Nemec's cross just wide.

Suicidal


Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry was often at the heart of French attacks
But all the positive Czech work was undone in the seventh minute when Petr Gabriel played a suicidal pass to Henry 40 yards out, who advanced unchallenged to the Pavel Srnicek's goal before slotting a calm shot into the back of the net.

Nicolas Anelka - the man that Henry ultimately replaced at Arsenal - should have done better in the 15th minute when picked out by Petit at a corner, but the Real Madrid man put his header wide.

Seconds later, Henry was put through by Zinedine Zidane, but the striker's finish was a yard wide of the Czech post.

On the half hour, Patrick Vieira was allowed space in the Czech penalty area and after seemingly trapping the ball with his arm, he hit a strong shot which Srnicek did well to keep out.

Four minutes later, Didier Deschamps brought down Nedved as the Czech playmaker entered the penalty area.

Challenge


Karel Poborsky
Karel Poborsky celebrates his penalty
Although the challenge seemed to have been committed outside the area, Nedved fell inside the French penalty area. After consulting with his linesman, England's Graham Poll pointed the spot, Former Manchester United player Poborsky sent Barthez the wrong way to give his country's supporters their first bit of cheer this tournament.

Nedved started the second half with a great chance, receiving a flick on from Vladimir Smicer to race clear of the French defence.

But his shot, while powerful was too close to Barthez who made an excellent block.

The game fell into a scrappy phase for some 10 minutes, until a break down the French left ended with Henry 's lobbing a ball over the Czech defence which eluded everyone apart from Djorkaeff who hammered home a right footed shot from 10 yards.

The Czechs were rattled by that goal and they needed some time to mount any kind of serious attacking thrust.

When they did, it nearly resulted in a goal, with Nedved's free-kick finding the head of Koller, whose touch beat Barthez but not the crossbar.

At the other end, veteran centre-back Laurent Blanc was wayward with a header after being found unmarked in the penalty area by Djorkaeff .


Czech Republic: Srnicek, Repka, Nemec, Gabriel, Rosicky, Poborsky, Nedved, Bejbl, Smicer, Rada, Koller. Subs: Blazek, Fukal, Horvath, Jankulovski, Kuka, Latal, Lokvenc, Maier, Novotny, Vlcek.

France: Barthez, Thuram, Desailly, Blanc, Candela, Vieira, Deschamps, Zidane, Petit, Henry, Anelka. Subs: Djorkaeff, Dugarry, Karembeu, Lama, Leboeuf, Micoud, Pires, Rame, Wiltord, Trezeguet.

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See also:

10 Jun 00 | France
Blanc seeks fond farewell
15 Jun 00 | France
PSG open talks for Anelka deal
15 Jun 00 | France
Deschamps frustrated at Chelsea
15 Jun 00 | France
Lemerre attacks French press
16 Jun 00 | Euro2000
HT: Czech Republic 1-1 France
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