Baros bags four as Czechs crush San Marino

UHERSKE HRADISTE, Czech Republic - Milan Baros struck four times to help Czech Republic give their World Cup qualification hopes a lift with a 7-0 win over San Marino on Wednesday.

Baros, who netted a vital late equaliser against Slovakia on Saturday, picked up where he had left off, netting a first-half hat-trick and adding his fourth midway through the second half.

Vaclav Sverkos scored two and Tomas Necid got one to complete a victory that leaves the Czechs with 12 points from eight matches in Group Three and still with a chance of qualification.

Slovakia top the group with 16 points from seven heading into their match away to second-placed Northern Ireland, who have 14 points from eight games.

Poland and Slovenia are also in the running in a tight group, with only the winners qualifying for South Africa 2010 directly.

The eight best second-placed teams from the nine groups in Europe go into two-legged play-offs for the four remaining places.

San Marino finished Wednesday's game with 10 men after Simone Bacciocchi was booked for the second time for holding up play with eight minutes to go.