The Czech Republic continued their perfect start to their Group 5 campaign in qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a third straight victory, this time 2-0 over Northern Ireland, in Jablonec.
The home side did not have it all their own way, however, as Czech goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík was called on to make a penalty save early in the second half, but late goals from Marcel Gecov and Bořek Dočkal kept them in firm command of the section. The Czech Republic created the first chance in the 36th minute when Jiří Valenta hit the bar then after the interval visiting goalkeeper Trevor Carson twice denied Adam Hloušek when well placed. The best chance of all, however, fell to Shane Duffy but his 50th-minute penalty was saved by Vaclík after Billy Kee had been tripped in the area.
That let off stirred the home side into action and they went ahead in the 72nd minute when Gecov scored from the close range. His FC Slovan Liberec team-mate Dočkal then hit the crossbar before adding the second with seven minutes to play. Jakub Dovalil's side lead Group 5 by six points from Germany, who have played two games less and who they meet in Wiesbaden on Tuesday in a clash that could go a long way in determining the outcome of the section.