May 22, 2014 / 5:34 PM / 5 years ago

Czechs beat U.S., Russia down France to reach semis

Tomas Rolinek of the Czech Republic (top) celebrates with his team mates Ondrej Vitasek (L) and Michal Vondrka after scoring against the U.S. during their men's ice hockey World Championship quarter-final game at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

(Reuters) - The Czech Republic beat the United States 4-3 to reach the semi-finals of the world ice hockey championship on Thursday while Russia got past France 3-0 in Minsk, Belarus.

After the Czechs’ Tomas Rolinek equalized Brock Nelson’s early score, they took advantage of the extra man when U.S. captain Justin Abdelkader was ejected for charging, scoring three unanswered goals in the second period.

The Czechs endured a nail-biting finish as the Americans hit back with two late goals, but they held out in the final minute to reach the last four.

The Czechs will be joined in the semi-finals by Russia, who beat France with goals from Artem Anisimov, Evgeny Malkin and Alexander Kutuzov.

Editing by Neville Dalton

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