Czech Republic 3, Denmark 0
Milan Baros scored twice in the second half to help the Czech Republic beat Denmark, 3-0, on Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the European Championship.
The Czech Republic, the only team in the tournament with a perfect record, is attempting to make its second final in the last three Euro soccer tournaments.
On Thursday, the Czechs will play Greece in a semifinal. The Czech Republic won the tournament in 1976 and lost to Germany in the final in 1996, on a golden goal by Oliver Bierhoff.
They enter Thursday's game having won nine straight games in qualifying and the competition. They have scored at least twice in all of those games.
Jan Koller opened the scoring early in the second half Sunday, but Baros then stole the show.
He scored his fourth of the championship in the 63rd minute. Karel Poborsky played the ball into the Danish area for Baros to chip over advancing goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and into the net.
Two minutes later, Baros became the top scorer in the championship. European footballer of the year Pavel Nedved took possession midway inside the Danish side and threaded a pass to Baros 30 yards out. Baros sprinted into the left side of the penalty area before firing high into the net from 15 yards.
Baros, who plays for Liverpool in England, received a standing ovation as he left the field in the 70th minute.
"Before the championship, I said I'd love to score four. I'm glad I've gone one better," Baros said.
Koller slumped on his back at the final whistle, then ran to join his teammates as they jumped in delight in front of their adoring fans.
Players grabbed Czech flags and stood for several minutes amid their fans' chanting.
Czech Republic Coach Karel Bruckner switched back to his top lineup after resting nine starters for the last group game against Germany, a 2-1 victory.
"We had enough energy and power because of the match against Germany," Bruckner said. "And of course it was not only energy and power but the top quality of our players."
Before Baros finished off the Danes, Koller started the scoring.
In the 49th minute, Nedved forced a corner kick. Poborsky took it and Koller headed the ball past Sorensen into the top left corner.
It was the second goal at Euro 2004 for Koller who, at 6 feet 8, is the tallest player in the competition.
Nedved almost doubled the lead in the 56th minute, but his header was stopped by Sorensen.
Baros struggled with injuries last season and even when healthy, then-Liverpool coach Gerard Houllier was reluctant to use him. With five goals at Euro 2004, he moves ahead of England's Wayne Rooney and Ruud Van Nistelrooy of the Netherlands to the top of the scoring charts.
Baros has 21 goals in 29 international matches, and eight in his last six.
Denmark, the 1992 winner, had no response and was knocked out of a major tournament for the second straight time by a 3-0 defeat. England defeated the Danes by that score in the second round of the 2002 World Cup.
"Football is all about scoring goals, but we didn't take our chances after playing a very good first half," Denmark Coach Morten Olsen said. "You need to be brutal to win, not nice. The quarterfinal is okay, but we could have gone further."