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Ondrej Duda carries Slovakia past rivals Czech Republic

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ZILINA, Slovakia -- Ondrej Duda scored after the interval to lead Slovakia to a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday in a friendly between the two teams that once represented Czechoslovakia.

The 20-year-old midfielder struck with a low shot from outside the penalty area in the 49th minute for his second international goal.

It was the third victory for Slovakia in the 10th match against the Czechs since Czechoslovakia's split in 1993. The Czechs won five games.

"We had more chances in the first half, we scored in the second and didn't allow the opponent anything, so I think we deserved to win,'' Slovakia coach Jan Kozak said.

Slovakia was more dangerous on a rain-soaked pitch, confirming its good run of form. The Slovaks have made a perfect start to 2016 European Championship qualifying, winning their first five matches to sit top of their group and be on course for its first Euro final tournament.

The hosts allowed the Czechs to enjoy more possession in the early stages but they were harmless in attack.

A header by Slovakia's Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel flew just wide of Tomas Vaclik's goal in the 33rd minute while another defender, Peter Pekarik, beat the Czech goalkeeper a minute later but Theodor Gebre Selassie managed to block his deflected shot on the line.

Slovak goalkeeper Jan Mucha saved the only Czech scoring opportunity, substitute Ladislav Krejci's header from close range in the 65th minute.

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