Czech Republic came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Group E winners Serbia, the point denying the tournament newcomers the honour of being the first debutants to enjoy a 100 per cent record in the group stages.
The Serbs continued to create chances, but found Czech goalkeeper Libor Gercak in fine form. However, as things stood at half-time, the Czechs were heading home.
They stepped up the momentum in the second half and got the equaliser through Michal Seidler’s close range effort. Serbia retook the lead after a mix-up in the area which allowed Vidan Bojovic to score.
Forty-six seconds later, parity was restored when Lukas Resetar passed the ball into the penalty area and Michal Belej struck the equaliser.
“You could tell it was an important match for both teams, and that is why it was not a very open game. But I'm satisfied with my players because we won the group. It's true I would have liked to win the three matches, but we have accomplished our immediate target when we got to the World Cup," Aca Kovacevic, Serbia coach.
“We knew what results would get us into the next round, and that is what we based our game-plan on. My players followed my tactical plan, but once again missed too many opportunities, which has been our major failing so far. You could tell neither of the teams wanted to lose and that impacted on the quality of game. Nevertheless, we showed a lot of character to come back after being behind twice," Tomas Neumann, Czech Republic coach.