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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
Rep of Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic
By Lyle Jackson

Andy Reid challenges Czech Republic player Jaroslav Plavil
Andy Reid challenges Czech Republic player Jaroslav Plavil
The Republic of Ireland produced a much-improved display but had to settle for a draw against the Czech Republic.

It gave the Irish their first point from three Euro 2008 qualifiers and should be enough to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Steve Staunton.

Roared on by the Lansdowne Road crowd, the Republic went ahead when Kevin Kilbane blasted in after 61 minutes.

But the lead lasted just two minutes as Jan Koller's low shot crept inside the far post to bring the Czechs level.

Despite now having dropped eight points out of nine, this was a heartening display from the Republic who were heavily criticised after their 5-2 defeat in Cyprus on Saturday.

A string of injuries meant young players like Paul McShane, Stephen Kelly and Jonathan Douglas were given the chance to shine and they did not let boss Staunton down.

Douglas and John O'Shea both went agonisingly close in the first half.

Then a point-blank stop from Brighton goalkeeper Wayne Henderson prevented Milan Baros giving the Czech Republic the lead just before half-time.

Alan O'Brien wasted a good opening for the Republic but then they got a deserved breakthrough.

Duff, playing down the right, pulled a low cross into the box where Kilbane unleashed a sweet left-foot strike past Chelsea's Petr Cech.

But the Dublin delight was shortlived as the Czechs struck back immediately.

Koller held off McShane and from just inside the area squeezed a 15-yard shot past the dive of Henderson and just inside the post.

Skipper Robbie Keane should have added to his Republic scoring record late on but headed wide in front of goal.

Despite not winning, it was a better night for Staunton and the Republic and in the end, the Czechs looked happy enough to leave Dublin with a point.

Republic of Ireland: Henderson, Kelly, McShane, O'Shea, Finnan, Andy Reid (Quinn 72), Carsley, Douglas, Kilbane (Alan O'Brien 79), Duff, Keane.
Subs Not Used: Colgan, Morrison, Lee, Foley, St. Ledger.

Booked: Kilbane, Douglas, Carsley.

Goals: Kilbane 62.

Czech Republic: Cech, Polak, Ujfalusi, Kovac, Jankulovski, Jiranek, Rosicky, Plasil (Grygera 85), Rozehnal, Koller, Baros (Jarolim 82).
Subs Not Used: Blazek, Lafata, Pospech, Abraham, Kulic.

Booked: Baros, Polak, Rozehnal, Kovac.

Goals: Koller 64.

Att: 35,500

Ref: Bertrand Layec (France).

Staunton praises Republic display
11 Oct 06 |  Internationals
New hope for Staunton's Republic
11 Oct 06 |  Internationals
International photos
11 Oct 06 |  Football
Clockwatch: Euro 2008 qualifiers
11 Oct 06 |  Internationals


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