Czechs make Spain pay penalty
© Foto-net

Czech Republic upset the odds and defeated European champions Spain 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on 14 July, 2007.

Neither side looked particularly threatening in a quiet first half, though Spain appeared the more comfortable of the two, but the Czechs should have taken the lead in the 53rd minute as Martin Fenin headed Lukas Kuban's cross just wide when he needed to hit the target. Adrian Lopez was guilty of an astonishing miss 12 minutes from the end of the 90 when he only had to tap Gerard Pique's cross into an unguarded net but he side-footed against the post from two yards out and, for the second successive match, the sides were taken to extra-time.

Lubos Kalouda fired the Czechs in front near the end of the first period when Adan failed to collect Petr Janda's corner and the Brno midfielder blasted in from the end of the box. Pique thumped a header against the bar as Spain tried to reply instantly and they equalised in the second phase when Alberto Bueno hit the post and Juan Manuel Mata converted the rebound. Bueno missed a golden opportunity to avoid spot-kicks near the end but penalties were called for, where Marc Valiente hit the crossbar for Spain and Radek Petr saved Pique's attempt to give the Czechs their second shoot-out win in a row.

Czech Republic now stay in Edmonton for the semi-final against Austria on 18 July. This will guarantee the first European representatives in the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup since Spain lost to Brazil at UAE 2003.