Veteran midfielder Miroslav Karhan scored in the second half to earn Slovakia a narrow 1-0 victory over Andorra in their 2012 European Championship qualifier on Saturday.
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Karhan netted from inside the area in the 63rd minute from a corner by Marek Hamsik. It was the 34-year-old Karhan’s 14th goal in his 103rd international.
Slovakia was tied on 13 points in the group with second-place Russia, which beat Armenia 3-1, and Ireland, which defeated Macedonia 2-0 away to stay top on goals scored.
Andorra was without a point.
”Our attack was terrible,” Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss said. ”When we have so many chances, we have to score more. With so many star strikers on the pitch, it’s ridiculous that Karhan had to decide the game.”
Slovakia put the underdogs under pressure from the start but its three strikers Filip Holosko, Filip Sebo and Robert Vittek squandered their chances in the first half. Weiss sent Stanislav Sestak on as the fourth striker in the second half to boost his attack but it was Karhan who saved his strikers’ blushes.
Slovakia has scored only six goals in its six qualifiers.
Next, Slovakia travels to Ireland on Sept. 2 while Andorra hosts Armenia.
Slovakia: Marian Kello, Jan Durica, Miroslav Karhan, Marek Cech (Kornel Salata, 83), Robert Jez, Tomas Hlubocan, Marek Hamsik, Juraj Kucka (Stanislav Sestak, 46), Filip Sebo, Filip Holosko (Igor Zofcak, 74), Robert Vittek.
Andorra: Jose Antonio Gomes, Jordi Rubio, Marc Bernaus, Emili Garcia, Ildefons Lima, Marcio Vieira, Manolo Jimenez (Joaquim Salvat, 86), Fernando Silva (Sebastian Gomez, 63), Cristian Martinez, Marc Vales, Josep Ayala (Xavi Andorra, 16).