29-07-2002

Teplice - Kaiserslautern, photo: CTKTeplice - Kaiserslautern, photo: CTK Just four days after getting off to a losing start in the Czech league, Teplice had something to smile about on Saturday when they scored a resounding 4:0 victory over the top German side Kaiserslautern to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Intertoto cup. The top three sides in the Intertoto cup get into the first round of the UEFA cup - to do that Teplice will need to overcome Bologna in the semi-finals and then either Fulham or Sochaux in the one of three 'finals'.

In the domestic league there were a string of draws on the opening weekend. Champions Liberec drew nil-all with Olomouc, while Ostrava and newly promoted Zlin got one apiece. The exception was the 3:2 victory Ceske Budejovice - also freshly returned to top flight football - notched up over Bohemians, who are usually hard to beat at home. Lumir Sedlacek got all three of Budejovice's goals - his first league hat-trick coming less than a week after joining the club.

Czech football fans will soon have a chance to watch one of the stars of the Brazilian side which recently won the World Cup - Rivaldo has just joined AC Milan and they have just drawn Liberec in a tie which will decide a place in the first round of the Champions League. Liberec have some European experience, and reached the quarter-finals of last season's UEFA cup. However there has been a mixed reaction to the draw from club officials and players - excitement at the chance to play such a glamour club is mixed with fear of not making the group stage.

Sparta Prague meanwhile are playing Tornado Kutaisi of Georgia in a Champions League second round qualifier this Wednesday.

The Czech Formula 3000 driver Tomas Enge was forced out of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on Saturday when he collided with Brazilian Ricard Sperafik. Luckily for Enge, his main rival for the Formula 3000 championship Sebastien Bourdrais of France also failed to complete the race, so Enge remains just five points behind. Enge evidently did not feel too lucky though - he said after the race that the chance to go ahead of Bourdrais may not come again.

Ivan Hlinka with his Russian club Omsk, photo: CTKIvan Hlinka with his Russian club Omsk, photo: CTK The former Czech international ice hockey coach Ivan Hlinka is currently in the Czech Republic with his Russian club Omsk. On Friday Omsk, who have been staying in Karlovy Vary, took on Hlinka's old club Litvinov in a friendly. Hlinka was a player, coach and manager at Litvinov, and Friday's game was the first time he had sat on the bench there for eight years. I'm at home here, said Hlinka - this is where I grew up.

The game has grown in popularity in Czech Republic over the last decade and there are now ten 18-round courses in the country, with two new ones opening in the last month alone. Twelve years ago there were only three.

29-07-2002