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Rosicky double gives Czechs winning start

Tomas Rosicky scored twice as the Czech Republic enjoyed an impressive 3-0 victory over the United States in their World Cup opener.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 00:15 IST

Tomas Rosicky scored twice as the Czech Republic enjoyed an impressive 3-0 victory over the United States in their World Cup opener on Monday.

Giant striker Jan Koller, who opened the scoring, had headed in the first goal but his afternoon suffered a painful end when he was stretched off injured on the stroke of half-time.

Koller found the net in the fifth minute and new Arsenal signing Rosicky was on target in the 36th and 76th minutes in the crucial Group E match.

American skipper Claudio Reyna said the early strike had put his men on the backfoot.

"Their first goal put us back on our heels," he said.

"We played well and hit the post but we then made some tactical changes which didn't work. We needed some width and couldn't get it."

Reyna is convinced that the team's young players need to use the experience of the match when they face mighty Italy on Saturday.

"They will be tough to beat but we have to bounce back and learn from this. Some of the guys in the team are new to the World Cup and they were a little nervous.

"Now we must look forward and see what we are made of. We will have to be aggressive and not hesitant."

Koller scored when he met a right wing cross from Zdenek Grygera that eluded two defenders. The 2.01m attacker's 43rd goal in 69 matches came from point-blank range.

Midfielder Rosicky struck in the 36th minute, blasting a right-footed 25-metre shot past goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who dived to his left in vain.

Rosicky struck again in the second half to seal the triumph, flicking a left-foot shot past Keller eight minutes after smashing a shot off the crossbar.

Next for the Czechs will be Ghana on Saturday, the same day the US team faces Italy.