2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Milan Skoda (74', 86')
  • Yuri Logvinenko (21')

Milan Skoda scores twice to help Czech Republic rally to victory

A brace from substitute Milan Skoda saw the Czech Republic come from behind to beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in Thursday's Euro 2016 Group A qualifier in Plzen.

The visitors, bottom of the pool, took a shock lead in the 21st minute when Yuri Logvinenko powered in a header.

They did an admirable job of hanging on thereafter until Skoda, on since half-time, intervened to turn an embarrassing situation into three vital points for his side.

The striker equalised with a header in the 74th minute, then notched another with four minutes left to keep the second-placed Czechs two points behind leaders Iceland.

They are also now six points clear of third-placed Holland - beaten 1-0 by Iceland on Thursday - with three group games left and look well on course for next summer's finals.

They might have expected an easy ride at home against Kazakhstan, who had taken only one point from their six fixtures to date and suffered five straight losses.

But Logvinenko sprung an early surprise as he met the ball at the far post to send it past Petr Cech.

The Czechs almost levelled in the 38th minute as David Limbersky's shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar.

But the hosts were struggling to really make much of their considerable possession and survived a scare in the 53rd minute when Baurzhan Dzholchiev wasted a decent opportunity on the break by blasting into the stand.

Kazakhstan were then forced to make some last-ditch blocks as the Czechs looked to step things up.

And the pressure eventually told as Skoda twice beat Stas Pokatilov, firstly from a Borek Dockal cross and then via fellow substitute Josef Sural's cross.