Jan Polak scored twice to lead the Czech Republic to a 4-1 win over Armenia in their World Cup Group One qualifier overnight.
The Czechs, who have 24 points from 10 games, leapfrogged Romania (22 points) into second place in the table.
Marek Heinz opened the scoring for the Czechs in the 47th minute when his shot from 18 metres took a deflection off Armenia defender Sargis Hovsepjan.
Polak struck five minutes later when his 25-metre drive took another ricochet before finding the back of the net.
Milan Baros made it 3-0 when he swept home Jan Koller’s rebound in the 58th minute before Polak notched his second with 14 minutes left.
Ara Hakobian pulled a goal back for Armenia in the 85th minute.
“We only started to play after the break. In the first half, we were like Sleeping Beauty,” Czech coach Karel Bruckner told reporters.
The Czechs needed maximum points after a 2-0 defeat by Romania on Saturday.
“If we could have got ahead, the Czechs would have had a very difficult task. But after they scored the second goal, it was pretty well decided,” said Armenia’s Dutch coach Henk Wisman.