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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 22:55 GMT 23:55 UK
Czech Republic take U-21 title
France's Anthony Reveillere is stopped in his tracks
Three French players missed in the shoot-out
Czech Republic U-21s 0-0 France U-21s
(Czech Republic win 3-1 on penalties)

The Czech Republic were crowned European U-21 champions after beating favourites France in a penalty shoot-out.

France buckled under the pressure as Alain-Pierre Frau, Julien Escude and Alain Boumsong all missed from the penalty spot after the two sides had played out a goalless draw in Basel's Saint Jakob Stadium.

Michal Pospisil, Zdenek Grygera and Rudolf Skacel all scored for the Czech Republic, with Camel Meriem the only French player to find the net in the shoot-out.

The victory made up for the disappointment of two years ago when the Czechs lost to Italy in the final.

They had looked set to miss out again as the unbeaten French dominated the opening half hour, with Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque shooting just wide.

Missed opportunities

And Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech did well to keep out headers from Peguy Luyindula and Jeremie Brechet.

Nine minutes after half-time the Czechs enjoyed a rare break when winger Stepan Vachousek fed midfielder Lukas Zelenka, but his shot was charged down.

Cech then pushed a shot from Luyindula over the bar and France were inches away from winning a penalty after a foul by Karel Pitak on Olivier Sorlin on the edge of the area.

The Czechs had a chance to grab a late winner when French keeper Mickael Landreau came off his line but Skacel shot over the bar.

Chances were few and far between in extra time as both teams tried to avoid losing on a golden goal.


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