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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

French Dominate Czechs on Route to Euro Quarterfinals




BRUGES, Belgium -- France is feeling the after effects of a bruising 2-1 win against the Czech Republic but is delighted to have booked a place in the quarterfinals of Euro 2000 with a match to spare.


The physical nature of the match took its toll and France has three injury worries for its game against the Dutch in Amsterdam on Wednesday.


Midfielder Emmanuel Petit, who injured his left knee, was forced off at halftime. "After five minutes I was tackled by Poborsky and felt my left knee go," the Arsenal midfielder said.


Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is nursing a sore left thigh after the match and might be rested by coach Roger Lemerre in preparation for the quarterfinals, while left back Bixente Lizarazu injured his thigh during warmup.


Yet the so-called Group of Death f which pitted the world champion against co-host and tournament favorite the Netherlands, Euro '96 runner-up Czech Republic and Denmark f never lived up to its pre-tournament billing.


France and the Netherlands sealed places in the quarterfinals with a match to spare after wins Friday, and the world champion needs to draw its final game against the Dutch in Amsterdam to win the group.


France was delighted to have avenged its Euro '96 semifinal defeat, when the Czechs won 6-5 on penalties after a scoreless draw at Old Trafford.


"It was a really, really tough match especially at this stage of the tournament," Zinedine Zidane said.


Even after Thierry Henry had given France an early lead, the world champion looked in trouble either side of halftime.


Karel Poborsky equalized with a 35th-minute penalty and just after the break Barthez was called upon to make a world class save from point blank to deny Pavel Nedved.


Youri Djorkaeff's goal on the hour proved decisive as the match descended into a scrap.