PRAGUE: Hosts Czech Republic suffered a painful 2-1 home defeat here in the Opening Match of the UEFA U21 Euro finals but were spared from total misery because Germany and Serbia drew 1-1 in the other Group A game.

This means the Czechs maintain a prospect of progressing to the semi-finals and thus helping to sustain domestic interest in the event.

The Czechs made a sharp start and took the lead in the 36th minute through Pavel Kaderabek.

This goal appeared to top off a successful day for Kaderabek who had learned in the morning of confirmation of his impending transfer to Germany’s Hoffenheim.

However the second half saw the game turned on its head. Jannick Vestergaard headed a 56th minute equaliser and, in the closing minutes, hopeless defending at a right-wing corner presented Pione Sisto with a Danish winner.

Germany were disappointed only to draw 1-1 with Serbia in the other Group A tie but, in the event, were also relieved. Serbia went ahead in only the eighth minute through Filip Djuricić.

Liverpool’s Emre Can levelled, converting an assist an assist from Kevin Volland nine minutes later.

Germany held on for the draw despite having Christian Günter sent off midway through the second half for a second yellow card.