Germany, Czech Republic get friendly wins

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Germans downed Switzerland 2-0, and the Czechs easily handled Bulgaria 3-1 in European Championship.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Germany and the Czech Republic seem to have finally turned into European Championship contenders and not a minute too soon. Both teams suffered surprising losses in April as the run-up to the Euro 2004 finals started to get into full swing. But on Wednesday, Kevin Kuranyi scored two goals as the Germans downed Switzerland 2-0, and the Czechs easily handled Bulgaria 3-1. Both Switzerland and Bulgaria also have qualified for the European Championship, which starts on June 12 in Portugal. In other friendlies, Turkey beat South Korea 1-0 in a rematch of the 2002 World Cup third-place match, Ireland topped Jamaica 1-0. The United States blanked Honduras 4-0. Also, it was: Grenada 2, St Lucia 0; and St. Kitts and Nevis 0, Northern Ireland 2. Unbeaten record In Basel, Switzerland, three-time European champion Germany never looked in danger of losing its 38-year unbeaten record against the Alpine nation. Miroslav Klose set up the first goal by taking advantage of a poor defensive header from Bernt Haas in the 62nd minute and feeding Kuranyi for a close-range shot. Brdaric, who replaced Klose, almost doubled the lead but Switzerland goalkeeper Joerg Stiel tipped his shot around the post. Kuranyi scored his second of the game and fourth for Germany with a fine header from an Arne Friedrich cross in the 85th. Switzerland thought it had pulled back a consolation goal through Bruno Berner in the 88th, but it was ruled offside.(AP)