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banner Saturday, 10 November, 2001, 21:45 GMT
Belgium edge out Czechs
Gert Verheyen
Belgium captain Verheyen scored the only goal
Gert Verheyen's first-half goal for Belgium was enough to give his side victory in the first leg World Cup play-off qualifier against the Czech Republic.

Belgium's speed of thought after 28 minutes saw midfielder Sven Vermant's quickly taken free-kick find captain Verheyen.

He went on to snap a shot past Czech keeper Pavel Srnicek to give Belgium a slight advantage going into the second leg.

"It's a goal we needed to have, certainly better than not scoring at all," said Verheyen.

"They were strong but they chose to play as a block in front of their net, and we found some chances in their strategy."

The Czech Republic's cause was not helped when defender Tomas Repka was sent-off for elbowing midfielder Bart Goor before half-time.

Belgium continued to pressure the Czech side after the break but failed to add to their goal tally while the visitors managed just two real attacks on the home goal.

Belgium: Vlieger, Deflandre, Clment, Van Meir (De Boeck, 45), Van Kerckhoven, Vermant, Simons, Goor, Walem, Verheyen, Sonck (Van Houdt, 79).

Czech Republic: Srnicek, Grygera (Ujfalusi, 33), Novotny, Repka (sent-off 42), Jankulovski, Poborsky, Jarosik, Hasek, Nedved, Smicer (Hubschmann, 45), Baros (Lokvenc, 66).

Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland)

See also:

09 Nov 01 |  World Cup 2002
Austria v Turkey
09 Nov 01 |  World Cup 2002
Ukraine v Germany
27 Oct 01 |  World Cup 2002
Austria clinch play-off place
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