Italy comes from behind to down the Czech Republic

Updated: September 10, 2013

Turin, Italy (Sports Network) – Italy trailed at halftime but stormed back to
earn a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying action at
Juventus Stadium on Tuesday.

Libor Kozak struck for the Czech Republic in the 19th minute, giving the
visitors a lead that they held through the halftime interval.

But the Italians emerged from the break rejuvenated, needing just six minutes
to level the score as Giorgio Chiellini equalized by nodding home Antonio
Candreva’s corner kick in the 51st minute.

Italy wasted little time in finding the go-ahead goal as Mario Balotelli drew
a penalty under a challenge from Theodor Gebre Selassie and converted the
ensuing attempt in the 54th minute.

The win sees Italy maintain its comfortable position atop Group B as it
improves to 20 points through eight matches, seven points better than second-
place Bulgaria after its 2-1 defeat of Malta on Tuesday. Denmark earned a 1-0
victory over 10-man Armenia on Tuesday to improve to 12 points, helping the
nation climb to third place in the table.

In Group A, Serbia cruised to a 3-0 victory over Wales while Shaun Maloney
scored two minutes from time to hand Scotland a dramatic 2-1 win at Macedonia.

In Group C, Germany maintained its unbeaten record by picking up a 3-0 victory
against the Faroe Islands, David Alaba scored the lone goal in Austria’s 1-0
defeat of Ireland, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first-minute strike was enough to
see Sweden down Kazakhstan, 1-0.

In Group D, Robin van Persie bagged a brace in Holland’s 2-0 victory at
Andorra, Burak Yilmaz and Melvut Erding scored in Turkey’s 2-0 defeat of
Romania, and Hungary stuck five past Estonia in a 5-1 home drubbing.

In Group E, Fabian Schar scored twice in Switzerland’s 2-0 defeat of Norway,
Iceland climbed to second place thanks to a 2-1 victory over Albania, and
Slovenia kept pace with 2-0 win at Cyprus.

In Group F, Mathias Janisch scored in the 87th minute to give Luxembourg a 3-2
home win over Northern Ireland while Russia scored three goals in the span of
25 second-half minutes to get a 3-1 victory over Israel.

In Group G, Bosnia-Herzegovina remained atop the table thanks to a 2-1 defeat
of Slovakia, Dimitris Salpingidis scored the lone goal in Greece’s 1-0 victory
over Latvia, and Lithuania produced two first-half goals in a 2-0 win over

In Group H, Poland cruised to a 5-1 defeat of San Marino while England was
held scoreless in 0-0 draw at Ukraine, leaving a gap of only three points
separating first place from fourth in the table.

And in Group I, France secured a top-two finish thanks to a come-from-behind
victory over Belarus while Finland earned a 1-0 win over Georgia thanks to
Roman Eremenko’s penalty.