Czech Republic book their place at Euro 2024 despite three players being sent home for partying… as 3-0 defeat finally ends plucky minnows Moldova’s hopes
- Czech Republic defeated 10-man Moldova 3-0 to qualify for Euro 2024
- Three Czech players were sent home before the match after visiting a nightclub
- Trent and Bellingham can play together, but not get in each other’s way – IAKO
Czech Republic defeated 10-team Moldova 3-0 to qualify for Euro 2024 after Tomas Chory scored and assisted on his international debut in the Group E match on Monday.
The Czechs played without full-back Vladimir Coufal, centre-back Jakub Brabec and forward Jan Kuchta, who were sent home for breaking team rules after being photographed in a nightclub before the match.
Czech news outlet iSport explained how the trio – along with Czech Football Association director Tomas Neumann – partied until the early hours at the Belmondo nightclub.
iSport said they drank alcohol and photos and videos emerged showing Coufal, Kuchta and Brabec at the nightclub.
They partied together with amateur football players from the area who were celebrating the end of their season.
West Ham star and Czech captain Tomas Soucek celebrate qualifying for Euro 2024
David Doudera pushed the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Dorian Railean for the opening goal
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A video circulating on social media appeared to show Brabec walking onto the road before being led back to the sidewalk.
All three started the 1-1 draw in Poland on Friday.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s side struck early when Chory picked out David Dooudera racing down the left flank and the defender grabbed the ball before sliding past onrushing goalkeeper Dorian Railean in the 14th minute.
Viktoria Plzen’s Chory, playing in his hometown, headed in a header from Vasil Kusej’s corner in the 72nd before captain Tomas Soucek scored the third goal just before the end.
Moldova, who had defender Vladislav Baboglo sent off for a second yellow card ten minutes after the break, caused the Czechs early problems but missed a clinical finish.
Europe’s fifth-worst team was just one win away from qualifying for Euro 2024.
Tomas Chory headed in a header from Vasil Kusej’s corner in the 72nd minute
Ranked as the 157th team in the world by FIFA, the team is only ahead of Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Liechtenstein in the UEFA Nations League rankings.
And yet, despite having won just two of the 2024 European Championship qualifiers so far and averaging just one goal per match, Moldova could still have qualified for its final with a win on Monday evening first major tournament.
But the defeat ended their dream.
The Czech victory means the 1996 runners-up will play in the European Championship for the eighth time in a row after finishing second, level on 15 points with Albania, who have a better head-to-head record.