Injuries take some gloss off Czech win

CZECH REPUBLIC striker Milan Baros fears he will miss the entire World Cup with a foot injury.

The Aston Villa forward has been unable to train properly for a fortnight after developing a problem on his instep and cannot even walk without feeling some degree of pain.

Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner had hoped to have Baros available for last night’s 3-0 Group E win over the US, but in the end his star striker was unable to even do any running in the warm-up.

And, while Baros has not yet given up hope of being fit to play some part in the competition, he recognises the signs are not good and he will not be having an injection to numb the pain.

Baros’ injury has now become more problematic for the Czech squad because Jan Koller seems certain to miss the remainder of the tournament after being stretchered off with a hamstring injury. Either way, Koller cut a disconsolate figure as he trudged out of the stadium, with a scan in the next 48 hours set to offer a greater clue about the extent of the damage.

“At the moment we don’t know, but it looks serious,” admitted Bruckner.

The fitness of Baros and Koller put a dampener on what was otherwise a superb evening for the Czechs. Arsenal new-boy Tomasz Rosicky showed why Arsene Wenger has been prepared to spend £8m on him by netting a goal in each half, the first a thunderous strike from 30 yards, ensuring the Czechs were never troubled once Koller had headed them into a fifth minute lead.

For USA coach Bruce Arena, it was an evening full of frustration few escaped his wrath.

“Claudio did okay, as did Oguchi Onyewu and Bobby Convey at least had the courage to attack people. But overall, it was very disappointing. For some reason Kasey Keller kept kicking the ball to them, Landon Donovan didn’t show any aggressiveness and we got nothing at all from DaMarcus Beasley. You have to face it, we were beaten by a much better side.”

USA: Keller, Onyewu, Mastroeni (Johnson 45), Pope, Cherundolo (O’Brien 45), Reyna, Beasley, Convey, Lewis, McBride (Wolff 77), Donovan.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Cech, Grygera, Rozehnal, Ujfalusi, Jankulovski, Poborsky (Polak 82), Galasek, Rosicky (Stajner 86), Plasil, Nedved, Koller (Lokvenc 45).

Ref: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay).

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