Fenin a handful to handle

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

In a sport where scoring chances are often few and far between, converting those chances makes the difference between success and failure.

That's why having one of the best young strikers in the world has helped the Czech Republic become one of the surprise teams in the 2007 FIFA under-20 World Cup reaching the semifinals.

Martin Fenin has scored only one goal in this tournament, but he's been a handful for the opposition to handle. He's opened the game up for his teammates and scored a penalty in the pressure-packed penalty shootout win against Spain.

The 20-year-old Czech said he is happy with how his club has progressed in an interview with FIFA.com.

"We didn't come here as one of the favourites like Argentina or Brazil, so in a way we are just happy to be here. And maybe people won't be expecting that much from us, and we can pull a few surprises," he said.

Fenin was the key component of his national team making it to the tournament in Canada.

He scored four times in five matches through qualifying and the opening round. While he has yet to show that kind of consistent play in Canada, he drew the majority of attention from opposing defences in the group stage and did manage a goal in the eventual 2-2 draw with North Korea.

Fenin may not be as well known as some of the other top young players in the world, but with many of the top clubs sending scouts to this tournament, he won't be unknown for long.

He sees it as an opportunity to show what he can do.

However, he's content to continue to play with Teplice in the Czech's top league. In 28 games, he scored four goals last year, helping his team to a middle-of the-pack finish.

CZECH

MARTIN FENIN #9

Martin Fenin ... Born Cheb, Czech Republic, April 16, 1987 ... Member of Czech national team programs since he was 15 ... Played in Czech top league with Teplice ... Favourite players include Milan Baros.


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