The Czech Republic are European Under-21 Champions after defeating France on penalties on Tuesday.

The first half was dominated by France. Their first chance came after only 10 minutes when Steed Malbranque exchanged passes with Peguy Luyindula on the right side of the penalty area, but the Fulham midfielder screwed his shot wide.

The Czech Republic started the second half more positively and created their best opening in the 64th minute, only for Karel Pitak to fire wastefully over the crossbar. They continued to provide an attacking threat in extra time, but the French defence were commanding and the game ended goalless.

Camel Meriem slotted in France’s first penalty, but Pierre-Alain Frau, and Julien Escude saw their shots saved by man-of-the-match Petr Cech before Alain Boumsong hit the crossbar and handed victory to the Czechs.

Michal Pospisil, Zdenek Grzgera and Rudolf Skacel all converted their spot kicks for the eventual champions.

France: Landreau, Reveillere, Escude, Boumsong, Berson (Sable 87), Brechet, Sorlin, Pedretti, Govou (Frau 76), Malbranque (Meriem 64), Luyindula

Czech Republic: Cech, Jiranek (Kovac 33), Vorisek, Grygera, Zelenka (Polak 81), Baros (Pospisil 38), Vachousek, Pitak, Rozehnal, Hubschman, Skacel Booked: Reveillere, Berson, Escude, Pedretti (France); Pitak, Skacel (Czech Republic) Referee: T Ovrebo (Norway)