The Czech Republic’s National Football Team lost 0:1 after extra time in their Thursday play-off World Cup qualifier game against Sweden in Solna.
The loss means that the Czechs will not be playing at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The match was decided in the 110th minute when substitute Robin Quaison scored the only goal of the match.
Before this point it was a very forgettable game with the absence of the star forwards from either side, the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to suspension and Patrik Schick due to injury.
The game should not have gone into extra time as deep into injury time Tomas Soucek found team-mate Milan Havel in space in the penalty area but the substitute’s effort flew well wide.
Four minutes after the restart in extra time the game was won when Jesper Karlstrom played the ball to Quaison on the edge of the box and he exchanged passes with Alexander Isak before coolly slotting home.
Sweden now play in Poland next Tuesday with the winner heading to Qatar.
The Poles were fortunate in not having to go through the first part of qualification, due to drawing Russia, especially as Sweden have to back up from this struggle in four days. With home advantage, you would expect Sweden to have taken the game to their opposition but, after the first 10 minutes or so, the Czech defence did not look overly troubled.
And although they looked reasonably solid at the back, it is a stretch to see them keeping out Robert Lewandowski and company when they make the 800-mile South West journey.
Of course, Sweden have their own iconic striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is back available and, with him hinting retirement is near, it is very conceivable he has one last hurrah in him and takes his side to Qatar.