Football World Cup qualifying: Czechs see last hopes dashed by Northern Ireland

The Czech Republic's national football team had a final chance to keep alive the slimmest of hopes of reaching the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but would have had to defeat Northern Ireland on Monday night in Belfast. Although the Czechs had hoped to dominate, it was Northern Ireland who went up, scoring two. It remained 2:0 until the final whistle. The defeat means that the Czechs can no longer finish better than third in their group and can no longer advance.

The only time the independent Czech Republic successfully qualified for the World Cup was in 2006 - a squad which featured the likes of players such as Pavel Nedvěd, Jan Koller, Milan Baroš, Karel Poborský or Petr Čech. That team won one match in the group stage, against the US, but lost against Ghana and Italy and did not advance.