CESKE BUDEJOVICE, Czech Republic (AP) — Milan Baros and Michal Kadlec scored to lead the Czech Republic to a 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein in qualifying for the 2012 European Championship on Tuesday.
Baros collected a pass from captain Tomas Rosicky three minutes into the game and scored with a low shot from the edge of the area to beat goalkeeper Peter Jehle. It was the 39th goal for Baros in 81 international games.
Kadlec headed in the second in the 70th minute from a corner by Jaroslav Plasil.
The Czechs are second in Group I with nine points from five matches, while Liechtenstein is last with no points.
"It was a must-win match," Czech coach Michal Bilek said. "We're glad for the win, although it was not our best game."
Spain, which has a perfect record in qualifying with four wins, is three points clear on top and plays at Lithuania later Tuesday. Scotland and Lithuania are tied for third on four points.
The Czechs failed to convert numerous chances, especially Jan Moravek in the first half while Baros hit the crossbar after the break.
Kadlec's free kick forced Jehle into making a diving save in the 39th, and David Lafata, Zdenek Pospech, Tomas Sivok also came close to scoring.
At the other end, Thomas Beck twice shot over the bar in the first half, and Philippe Erne tested goalkeeper Petr Cech as the Czechs defense looked surprisingly porous.
Cech saved David Hasler's shot following a quick counterattack in the 53rd.
"The opponent threatened from dangerous counterattacks," Bilek said. "We made too many mistakes in the first half."
The Czechs play next at Scotland on Sept. 3, while Liechtenstein hosts Lithuania on June 3.
Before the game, fans and players observed a minute's silence for defender Ladislav Novak, who captained Czechoslovakia to the final of the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Novak died last week at age 79.
Czech Republic: Petr Cech, Zdenek Pospech, Roman Hubnik, Tomas Sivok, Michal Kadlec, Jaroslav Plasil, Tomas Hubschman, Tomas Rosicky (Jan Polak, 84), Jan Moravek (Adam Hlousek, 56), Milan Baros, David Lafata (Tomas Necid, 59).
Liechtenstein: Peter Jehle, Michael Stocklasa, Martin Rechsteiner, Martin Stocklasa, Thomas Beck, Mario Frick, Franz Burgmeier, Martin Buchel (Wolfgang Kieber, 10; Andreas Christen, 81), David Hasler, Philippe Erne, Nicolas Hasler.