Koller marks return with a brace


Czech Republic 3 Trinidad and Tobago 0: Trinidad and Tobago endured a torrid time in Prague as they lost to a strong Czech Republic team in their final friendly before the World Cup.

Two goals from Jan Koller, on his return after a knee operation, and a Pavel Nedved strike eased the Czechs to victory and the scoreline would have been worse for Leo Beenhakker's side, were it not for some bad finishing from the home side and good goalkeeping from Kelvin Jack.

Czech coach Karel Bruckner wanted to field his ideal starting 11 for this game, but injuries to Tomas Galasek and Tomas Rosicky forced a reshuffle.

Imposing striker Koller had the first chance in the second minute when he lobbed Kelvin Jack and the ball looked to be on its way into the net before Rangers defender Marvin Andrews cleared off the line.

But neither Andrews nor Jack could do anything four minutes later when Koller made amends for that miss to open the scoring.

Karel Poborsky began the attack with a run into the area from the left. His pass to Nedved rebounded to the former Manchester United midfielder, who sent in a precise cross which Koller powered in with a diving header.

The next chance fell to Trinidad's Coventry striker Stern John, who weaved his way through the Czech defence but saw his effort punched away by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

The visitors were made to pay for spurning that chance in the 22nd minute as Koller turned provider with a pass to Nedved which the skipper finished with a precision shot.

Trinidad goalkeeper Jack kept the scoreline respectable with two good saves to deny Poborsky and Milan Baros but could do nothing about Koller's second and the Czech Republic's third five minutes from half-time.

Nedved sent a through pass to Poborsky, who touched it on to Koller and the Borussia Dortmund striker directed the ball to the net.

Trinidad and Tobago spent much of the rest of the match trying to keep the scoreline respectable and their own best effort fell to substitute striker Densill Theobald, who hit a decent shot just over the crossbar.

Bruckner made three changes an hour into the match, and the new line-up took some time to gel, with several passes going astray.

But the Czechs still had the game under control and, after Andrews almost netted an own goal when he diverted Nedved's cross over the bar, substitute Vratislav Lokvenc went close with a header from a corner.

Trinidad begin their World Cup Group B campaign against Sweden on June 10th, before facing England five days later and Paraguay on June 20th.

The Czechs are in Group E and must face USA, Ghana and Italy.