Well a rough group but Holland and the Czech Republic are in a bit higher level. Belarus made a great WC qualifying but lost where they couldn't, will they be able to keep their recent form? For Austria I have sad memories as they elimininated Israel from the play offs with Turkey on the last minute. With all the respect we could've make that 5-0 thrashing we did in 1999 but we weren't humble enough. The Austrians are always a threat but I don't think they will go through.
obs...None of the teams of this group is in the World Cup.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Superior Dutch sweep Austria aside
VIENNA (Reuters) - A superior Dutch team swept to the top of Group Three of Euro 2004 qualifying with a 3-0 defeat of a sleepy Austria side on Wednesday.
The visitors were firmly in command, sealing the game after 30 minutes with goals from Clarence Seedorf (16), Philip Cocu (19) and Roy Makaay (30).
The hosts, who played with 10 men after Martin Hiden was sent off with a second yellow card in the 78th minute, made goal chances in the second half after substitutions brought in younger players, but it was too late to reverse the onslaught.
'The Dutch deserved to win, they really are a class above,' said Austrian coach Hans Krankl. 'I cannot blame my players, maybe they showed too much respect, held back a bit, but realistically there wasn't much they could do.'
The first goal, 15 minutes into the game, caught the Austrian defence napping. Makaay slipped the ball to an unmarked Patrick Kluivert, who tucked it into Seedorf's path for the Milan player to fire cleanly into the goal.
Cocu scored the second after latching on to a pass from Seedorf and the Dutch sealed the win with a shot by Makaay that left Austrian goalkeeper Alex Manninger no chance for a save.
The Dutch are now tied with Austria and the Czech Republic on six points, but go top of Group Three on goal difference.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Baros inspires Czechs to 2-0 win over Belarus
TEPLICE, Czech Republic, Oct 16 (Reuters) - In-form Liverpool striker Milan Baros scored one goal and set up another as the Czech Republic beat Belarus 2-0 in a Euro 2004 Group Three qualifier on Wednesday.
Baros, two weeks short of his 21st birthday, sent veteran Karel Poborsky clean through on seven minutes and the former Manchester United winger chipped neatly over Belarus keeper Gennady Tumilovich.
Sixteen minutes later Baros made it 2-0 after losing two defenders and slotting past Tumilovich.
'I thought we came out strong and controlled play well. On the first goal I spotted Karel breaking and he really made a nice play,' said Baros, the man of the match.
'On my goal I just stopped and turned, I thought I could catch the keeper off guard by shooting quickly.'
Though they looked slightly better in the second half, Belarus hardly threatened as Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech kept his second clean sheet in five days after the 2-0 victory in Moldova on Saturday.
'I thought we could been up by three or four in the first half and had the match decided,' Czech coach Karel Brueckner said. 'But then we ran out of steam and were forced to defend in the second half and play on breaks.'