Seven up for Slovakia
© AFP

Slovakia moved to the top of Group 3 of European Zone qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ in emphatic fashion with a 7-0 humbling of San Marino in Bratislava on 6 June.

The hosts were already five goals to the good before the interval thanks to a brace from Marek Cech and strikes from Peter Pekarik, Miroslav Stoch and Jan Kozak, with Martin Jakubko and Lubos Hanzel rounding off the scoring after the break.

Cech had wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, rifling home from the left-hand side of the area after only three minutes, and Pekarik doubled the advantage nine minutes later.

Two good saves from visiting keeper Aldo Simoncini to deny Kozak and Cech then followed before Robert Vittek missed the target with a header. However, it was only a matter of time until Slovakia scored again, with Cech combining with Vittek before finishing from close range after 32 minutes.

Three minutes later Vittek set up Stoch to make it 4-0 and Slovakia had their fifth just before half-time when Kozak lashed in from the edge of the area.

The second half opened with Stoch firing narrowly wide before Kozak's long-range effort whistled past the upright, much to Simoncini's relief. But there was nothing the goalkeeper could do in the 63rd minute as Pekarik's cross found Jakubko who headed home from inside the box.

And the home side were not done yet, Hanzel capping a fine individual move by finding the net from the edge of the area. This proved the cue for Slovakia to pull out the party pieces, with Kozak sending a volley just over and Vittek wasting a good chance from close in.

Having played a game fewer, Slovakia are now two points clear of closest rivals Northern Ireland, who were in friendly action against world champions Italy.