The Czech Republic’s footballers are preparing for their first game of the year, a friendly against Lithuania in Ústí nad Labem on Wednesday evening. The game precedes an away World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Sunday. The Czechs need to win all their remaining qualification games if they are to stand a realistic chance of coming second in their group – where Germany dominate – and reaching Russia next year.
Viktoria Plzeň have regained top position in Czech soccer’s top division. The West Bohemian side leapfrogged Slavia Prague into first place after a 3:2 away win over Karviná on Sunday. The winning goal in that game came in the 89th minute. Slavia had previously dropped two points after a 1:1 away draw with Slovan Liberec.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech and football club Arsenal slipped to fifth spot in the Premier League on Saturday, losing decisively against Liverpool which went third. Liverpool got two unanswered goals in the first half; Danny Welbeck put the Gunners within one in the second before Liverpool added a third goal. The Mirror reported that shoddy defense and not Čech were to blame for the first half goals.
Czech midfielder Bořek Dočkal has agreed on his transfer from Sparta Prague to Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League. Both clubs confirmed the move on their website on Saturday. According to Czech media, Sparta may have received up to 230 million crowns (around 8.5 million euros), which makes Dočkal the twelfth most expensive Czech football player in history. The 28-year-old player, who joined Sparta in 2013, has scored six goals in 29 internationals.
Sparta Prague have been knocked out of football’s Europa League. The Czech side had suffered a 4:0 away defeat in the first leg of their round of 32 tie with Rostov last week and could only manage a 1:1 draw with the Russians in Prague on Thursday evening. Sparta were reduced to 10 men on 67 minutes when defender Costa Nhamoinesu was sent off.
In Sports News this Monday: Federer promotes Laver Cup in Prague; local Smutná wins women’s race in fiftieth edition of Jizerská padesátka cross country skiing race; no win for Koukalová on final day of successful Biathlon World Championships; and abuse of African Sparta player dominates headlines as league returns.