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Czech Republic......1 (Doskova 28)
England..................5 (Westwood 61, K.Smith 79,86, Carney 81, J.Scott 83)
at the Dolicek Stadium, Prague
England are just one point away from clinching a place in the UEFA Championship Finals in Finland next year after a late goal blitz clinched a vital win against one of their group rivals.
However it needed a second half fightback to secure the win after finding themselves behind at half time following a tepid first half display.
Lindsay Johnson came into the centre of defence in place of the injured Faye White while Lianne Sanderson was given the nod in the striker's role and the Chelsea had a great chance to give England the early lead as she was released by Fara Williams' chipped pass but she opted for power instead of a lob and Marcela Zborilova blocked her effort.
This proved to be England's clearest chance of the half and, although they lost their captain Eva Smeralova when she fell awkwardly under a challenge from Johnson, it was the Czechs who took the lead in the 28th minute. A corner was half cleared and returned into the area to the far post where an unmarked Katerina Doskova gave Rachel Brown no chance with a powerful header.
England were looking disjointed at this stage and failing to make any impression against a Czech side which was now happy to defend deep and sit on their lead and they were not troubled going into the half time break.
Hope Powell made a half time change, replacing Sanderson with Emily Westwood and playing Kelly Smith as a lone striker - arguably her best role. From the restart, England's play looked more fluent but they had to wait until the hour before they could finally get back on terms.
Williams and Smith combined to set up a chance for Westwood and the substitute crashed an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Zborilova and into the far top corner to level the scores and record her first international goal.
It was just the tonic England needed and they took control of matters from this point and passed the ball around with much more confidence and purpose. The goal they needed came with eleven minutes remaining, ironically a 'route one' effort as a long clearance from Brown released Kelly Smith on goal and she calmly lifted the ball over the oncoming Zborilova to put her side in front for the first time.
Within two minutes, England had further extended their lead as Kelly Smith crossed into the area and Karen Carney planted a bullet header into the corner of the net. Jill Scott then sprung the Czech offside trap from a Williams pass and drilled home the fourth goal.
Carney lifted a good chance over the bar from a slide rule pass by Kelly Smith and Jill Scott also fired over but the fifth goal was not too long in coming; from the resulting goal kick, Scott headed into the path of Kelly Smith and she rounded Zborilova before tucking the ball home to complete the scoring.
Brown did have to make a good save from a Pavlina Scasna free kick, tipping her effort over the bar, whilst at the other end an offside flag denied Alex Scott a tap in goal as England finished a match in comfort following a scare.
England: Rachel Brown, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney (sub Rachel Unitt 84mins), Jill Scott, Lindsay Johnson, Anita Asante, Karen Carney, Fara Williams, Lianne Sanderson (sub Emily Westwood 45mins), Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey (sub Sue Smith 64mins). Subs not used: Eniola Aluko, Siobhan Chamberlain, Laura Bassett, Danielle Buet.
Czech Republic: Marcela Zborilova, Iva Mocova (sub Veronika Hoferkova 72mins), Petra Bertholdova, Merkita Ringelova, Ema Smeralova (sub Lucie Kladrubska 19mins), Adela Pvonkova, Veronika Pincova, Lucie Heroldova, Pavlina Scasna, Blanka Penickova (sub Petra Divisova 58mins), Katerina Doskova. Subs not used: Ivana Odlasova, Michaela Markova, Pavla Benyrova, Martina Danielova.
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