Van der Vaart scores again for Holland

Rafael van der Vaart has scored in the important qualifying match for Euro 2004 against the Czech Republic. The Ajax-player's goal did not help much, as the Czech Republic won 3-1 in Prague. Tomás Galásek, who played the full 90 minutes, and the injured Zdenek Grygera have been qualified directly for Euro 2004 in Portugal with their country.

Holland's Edgar Davids saw his second yellow card after only 13 minutes and was sent off. Jan Koller scored the resulting penalty.

Zdenek Grygera had to leave after 25 minutes with a hamstring injury. The Czechs, with Tomás Galásek in midfield, patiently waited for their chance. It came when Nedved found Poborsky who chipped it over goalkeeper Van der Sar.

Holland put the home side under pressure with ten players in the second half. Van der vaart brought Holland back into the game when he struck from the edge of the box after 61 minutes.

Holland tried to get a draw with which they would directly qualify. But the side did not score again. The Czech Republic did. Van der Sar came forward for a corner in the final minutes. Holland could not keep possession and Baros was too quick for Van Bommel and put the ball in the empty net for a 3-1 victory.

Czech Republic - Holland 3-1 (2-0). 15. Koller 1-0 (penalty), 38. Poborsky 2-0, 61. Van der Vaart 2-1, 90. Baros 3-1. Att: 18.500. Ref: Batista (Por). Red cart: 13. Davids (Holland/2xyellow). Yellow cards: Poborsky, Ujfalusi, Bolf (CR), Van Nistelrooy, Van Bommel (Holland).


Czech Republic: Cech; Jiranek, Ujfalusi, Bolf and Grygera (25. Hobschman); Poborsky (81. Vanchosek), Rosicky (60. Baros), Galasek, Nedved and Smicer; Koller.

Nederland: Van der Sar; Reiziger, Stam, De Boer (46. Ooijer) en Cocu; Overmars (20. Bosvelt), Van Bommel, Davids and Van der Vaart; Kluivert and Van Nistelrooy (71. Van Hooijdonk).