Cyprus were thrashed 5-0 by the Czech Republic in their opening game of the Uefa under-17 championship at the AEK Arena in Larnaca on Monday night.

A young crowd of 5,417 turned out in Larnaca to see the hosts’ opener, but Cyprus found themselves under the cosh from the start, with the Czech Republic having the ball in the net inside two minutes from a corner, only to see it ruled out for a foul in the box.

The Czech Republic asserted their dominance early on, winning a series of corners in the opening exchanges, though took 12 minutes to have their first shot on target, with Josef Kolarik forcing Cypriot goalkeeper Savvas Michos into a save low to his right.

From that moment, Cyprus began to grow into the game. They had their first clear-cut chance a quarter of an hour in when Chrysis Evangelou played a beautiful cross-field pass to Petros Ioannou on the left wing.

Ioannou found Stavros Dimosthenous, whose shot was blazed over the crossbar.

Evangelou and Ioannou combined once more five minutes later, with the former playing the latter clean through on goal. Ioannou checked back to set the ball to Charalampos Michalas, but Michalas was unable to sort his feet out and ended up floating the ball high into the stand behind the goal.

When the Czech Republic’s first goal eventually came after 26 minutes, it was arguably against the run of play.

However, the finish itself was a real touch of quality, with Josef Kolarik finding the perfect angle from the edge of the box to slide the ball in off the post after some clever footwork to free himself from onrushing Cypriot defender Panagiotis Charalambous.

The score was doubled within two minutes, with the Czech Republic winning a controversial penalty for a foul by Cypriot captain Rafail Dimosthenous on Karel Belzik.

Dimosthenous and about 5,000 Cypriots inside the ground argued that he had won the ball, through French referee Pierre Gallouste was of the opinion that his follow through on the Czech attacking midfielder warranted a penalty.

Marek Naskos did the honours and sent Savvas Michos the wrong way, the ball nestling in the bottom right-hand corner.

The sting was taken out of the game for the remainder of the half, with the Czechs happy to keep the ball and conserve energy and Cyprus unable to get it off them.

Their growing dominance allowed them to put the game to bed with five minutes remaining in the first half, with Adam Sosna zipping the ball in from the left-hand side to Matyas Nechvatal, who toe poked the ball beyond Michos and in off the post.

Cyprus began a slower paced second half the livelier side, carving open the Czech defence twice but seeing their final ball played to a player in an offside position on both occasions.

However, of the few chances created in the second 45 minutes, the Czech Republic created the most.

Stepan Beran laid the ball on a plate for Adam Sosna ten minutes into the half, but Sosna’s touch was heavy and his finish was dragged wide.

At the other end, substitute Anninos Nicolaou came off better in a battle of strength with Beran on the edge of the Czech penalty area, but his pass across the box could not find a teammate.

With 12 minutes to go, a cross-cum-shot from lively Czech substitute Ondrej Penxa forced Michos into an awkward parry away, and a minute later, Chrysis Evangelou broke down the right and gave the ball to Argyris Christodoulou, whose shot was high and wide.

The Czechs scored their fourth with nine minutes remaining, with a clever half-volleyed cross from Patrik Siegl being arrowed into the bottom corner by a bullet header from Ondrej Penxa.

Evangelou then tried a speculative effort from 60 yards out with Czech goalkeeper Marek Obdrzalek off his line. The ball # hung in the air for a while but dropped kindly for Obdrzalek to gather.

The scoring was completed in stoppage time, with Josef Kolarik having two attempts at finding substitute Matej Kvacek. He eventually did, and Kvacek made no mistake to slot the ball beyond Savvas Michos.

Cyprus may feel somewhat hard done to by the result, having created a small number of chances of their own, but in the end were beaten by a team of much higher overall quality.

Earlier, Denmark were the first side to register a win in the tournament, beating Wales 2-0 thanks to goals from Chidozie Obi in first half stoppage time and from Sofus Johannesen three minutes after the restart.

In the 6pm kickoff in Paralimni, Dusan Makevic scored the only goal after just two minutes as Serbia beat Ukraine 1-0.

The other 8.30pm kickoff, between Croatia and Austria, finished goalless.

Cyprus’ next game is against Serbia on Thursday at 8.30pm at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca.