In Sports News this Monday: Teplice remain top of the Czech football league, though Jablonec are in hot pursuit; remarkably, all of the latter’s eight victories this season have been by a single goal; champions Slavia Prague are under pressure, after only taking one point in four games; Czech soccer great František Veselý dies at 65; and in ice hockey’s Extraliga, new coach David Volek makes an immediate impact at Sparta Prague.
Teplice remain in front though Jablonec equal on points
Teplice continue to lead the Czech football league after a 2:0 away win over Kladno on Sunday. Hot on Teplice’s heels are Jablonec, who are also on 29 points after 13 games. They beat Bohemians Praha 1:0 at home. Remarkably, all of Jablonec’s eight victories this season have been by a single goal. Coach František Komňacký offers this explanation as to why.
“We don’t have the strength up front. But it’s not just our problem. Look at Sparta, look at Slavia, and other clubs in the top half of the table…We’re glad of every one-goal victory, although I’m afraid that with all the stress I’ll have gone completely grey by the time I leave Jablonec.”
Slavia on the ropes after dropping yet more points
Much of Monday’s sports pages are given over to the poor form of Slavia Prague. The reigning champions were beaten 1:0 at Příbram on Saturday, meaning they have taken only one point in their last four league games and are a full 10 points behind the leaders. What’s more, Slavia only have one point from three games in the group stage of the Europa League. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the spotlight has turned on manager Karel Jarolím, who only a few months ago was offered the job of national team coach. So is his position under threat? ‘Not yet’ seems to be the message so far from Slavia’s Eden stadium.
Tributes paid to Czech soccer great František Veselý
Many tributes have been paid over the last couple of days to the great František Veselý, who passed away on Friday at the age of 65. Veselý was one of the most respected figures in Czech football. The striker spent much of his career at Slavia Prague, and was a member of the Czechoslovak team which won the European Championship in 1976.
Coach Volek helps Sparta back to winning ways
In ice hockey news, the introduction of new coach David Volek seems to have had the desired effect on a previously floundering Sparta Prague. On Sunday they won their second game in succession under Volek, a 6:3 victory over Třinec. Elsewhere in the 22nd round of the Extraliga, reigning champions Karlovy Vary turned around a 2:5 deficit at Litvínov to emerge 6:5 winners, after finding the net four times in the last 10 minutes. Leaders Vítkovice were beating Slavia Prague 4:2 at home, only to concede two goals and lose in overtime, thanks to a typical feint in the shootout from Vladimír Růžička junior, the 20-year-old son of Slavia’s coach.