Euro U21 - Dockal double sinks Ukraine

Sun, 12 Jun 18:56:00 2011

Borek Dockal scored twice in eight minutes to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 win over Ukraine in their Euro U21 opener in Viborg.

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After a goalless first period, the Czech skipper pounced to slam a volley beyond the Ukraine keeper Anton Kanibolitskiy with his left foot on 49 minutes from inside the box.

He added a second goal with a lovely side foot finish on 56 minutes after being played in courtesy of an intricate little pass by Lukas Vacha.

Ukraine substitute Maksim Beliy tucked the ball into the net on 86 minutes to set up a tense finale with Beliy prodding narrowly wide deep into the three minutes of injury time, but the Czechs deserved their win.

They are top of Group B before England and Spain meet in the second match of the section later on Sunday evening.

The Czech Republic conceded only four goals in 10 matches in qualifying for this tournament and were always the likelier side on the break, despite Ukraine dominating large periods of possession.

Bohdan Butko threw over a lovely cross that Andriy Yarmolenko narrowly failed to convert at the back post, while Tomas Pekhart headed over the bar at the other end on 29 minutes when it looked easier to score.

Roman Zozulya saw an effort deflected wide five minutes before the interval as Ukraine finished the first period on a high, but their brief period of dominance was quashed in the second half as the Czechs emerged looking an altogether more sprightly bunch.

With Jan Moravek introduced at half-time for Tomas Horava, the Czechs carried a fair amount of menace going forward and their offensive instincts were rewarded with two goals from the influential Dockal.

The Czechs could have added to their tally around the hour mark when Butko headed off the line after Ondrej Celustka rose to power a header at the Ukraine goal.

The Ukraine must hope skipper Taras Stepanenko recovers in time for their second game of the section against England on Wednesday. He was carted off injured on 54 minutes to be replaced by Temur Partsvaniya.

Eurosport

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