Cox snatches late equaliser
Substitute Simon Cox denied the Czech Republic victory in Dublin as Ireland fought back to claim a 1-1 draw.
Galatasaray frontman Milan Baros had put the visitors ahead five minutes into the second half as Michal Bilek's men finally made the pressure tell.
But Cox, a 71st-minute replacement for skipper Robbie Keane, struck with just four minutes remaining to send a crowd of 37,741 home happy.
Ireland nearly got off to the perfect start when, with less than a minute of the clock, Aiden McGeady skipped past right-back Theodor Gebreselassie and crossed to the far post, where Shane Long rose well and made good contact, but directed his header straight at Czech skipper Petr Cech.
However, opposite number Shay Given was in action at the other end within two minutes when Jiri Stajner played a neat one-two with Baros and drilled in a shot which the keeper blocked with his legs.
Where the Czechs passed the ball confidently and patiently waited for the gaps in the Irish defence to open up, the home side defended tigerishly, but almost caught the visitors flat-footed with 15 minutes gone.
But for all the Czech possession, Ireland remained resolute, and it was not until the final minute of the half that Given, who had earlier escaped unpunished after allowing Stajner to charge down his attempted clearance, was called upon once again.
This time, it was Jan Rezek who cut inside from the left to send in a curling effort which the Aston Villa man had to get down well to turn away to ensure the sides remained locked together at the break.
The Czechs went ahead when Rezek picked up possession in a promising position and cleverly switched the play to find the unmarked Baros, who drew Given before lifting the ball over him and into the net.
The home side got themselves back into the game with just four minutes remaining when Cox ran onto Andrews' pass, cut inside defender Tomas Sivok and side-footed the ball past Cech from an improbable angle to snatch a draw.