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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Smicer brace gives Czechs win
Denmark 0-2 Czech Republic
(Liege - Att: 25,000)
Two second half strikes from Liverpool's Vladimir Smicer gave the Czech Republic their one and only win of Euro 2000 against Denmark in Group D.
The forward pounced twice in the space of four minutes to leave Bo Johannson's side rooted to the bottom of their group without a point.
Both teams only had pride to play for after losing their opening two encounters against Holland and France.
Smicer's club-mate Patrik Berger returned from suspension with Tomas Rosicky dropping to the bench while defender Petr Gabriel made way for Milan Fukal.
Johannson, who was in charge of the national team for the last time, gave striker Mikkel Beck his first start in the competition, relegating Ebbe Sand to the bench.
The game began in a scrappy and tepid fashion with the sides unable to string more then five passes together.
Denmark midfielder Jesper Gronkjaer looked lively on the left and threatened Sheffield Wednesday keeper Pavel Srnicek with a powerfully struck effort from the edge of the area.
Five minutes later the tricky Ajax winger fizzed in a low cross along the six-yard area which Srnicek somehow managed to hold on to.
Denmark's grip of the game grew stronger as former Newcastle United forward had two opportunities to put his side in the lead.
His first effort was a low goalward-bound strike which the Czech defence managed to clear and his second, a minute later, was an overhead kick which had to be tipped over by the alert Srnicek.
Once again the game reached a lull and the Czechs sensed that the Denmark side were beginning to lose interest and run out of ideas.
After the interval Smicer began to impose himself upon the opposition's defence and tested Peter Schmeichel twice in the Denmark goal, albeit with tame efforts.
But just after the hour mark the Anfield man got his reward when good work from Poborsky inside the 18-yard box ended with a well weighted pass to Smicer, who made no mistake with an easy tap-in.
Four minutes later, a long clearance from the Czech defence found the head of the giant Jan Koller who headed into the path of his fellow forward.
Smicer reached the ball just before Schmeichel, easing the ball over the 'keeper to slot home into an empty goal.
The striker was denied a hat-trick after being taken off by coach Jozef Chovanec, but his job was complete as the two teams began thinking of their respective flights home.
Denmark: Schmeichel, Schjonberg, Henriksen, Heintze (Colding 68), Helveg, Tofting, B. Nielsen, Gronkjaer, Tomasson, Goldbaek, Beck (Molnar 74).
Czech Republic: Srnicek, Repka, Rada, Fukal, Nedved, Nemec, Bejbl (Jankulovski 62), Poborsky, Berger, Koller (Kuka 74), Smicer (Lokvenc 79).
Referee: G Ghandour (Egypt)
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