Thousands of Glasgow Celtic supporters turned the north Bohemian town of Teplice into a green and white carnival on Wednesday night as their team faced Teplice in the third round of the UEFA Cup. Celtic had a 3:0 lead from the first leg, leaving Teplice with an almost impossible mountain to climb. But they didn't go down without a fight and deserved their 1:0 win, after Jiri Masek got the only goal of the game in the 35th minute. After the match Teplice coach Frantisek Straka was proud of his players, but also angry that they had been denied a penalty.
"If the referee hadn't been blind we'd have got a penalty after ten minutes. It was a clear penalty - if he'd given it things could have been very different. But I'm happy that our team managed to beat a side that hadn't lost in 26 games. Celtic are a top class club, but all due respect to my team, who so clearly wanted to fight and got their just desserts when they won the game."
For his part Celtic manager Martin O'Neill said Teplice had, as he'd expected, put his players under pressure.
"I thought that Teplice, having had a few big scalps beforehand in Kaiserslautern and Feyenoord, would come and approach in the manner I thought they did. I suppose you always feel that three goals is a very decent lead to have...the object was to get through and that's what we've done."
league In the domestic league Liberec beat Zlin 3:0 on Monday, with all three goals coming from striker Libor Dosek, who joined Liberec from Brno during the winter break. Meanwhile, league leaders Banik Ostrava beat Synot 6:2 on Wednesday; that result leaves Banik on 42 points, ahead of Slavia Prague on 36 and defending champions Sparta on 34.
The Extraliga playoffs began on Monday; so far Pardubice are leading Pilsen 2:0 on games, after losing their first game Trinec are now 1:1 with Zlin, Sparta Prague are leading Vitkovice 1:0 and Znojmo are also 1:0 up against Slavia.
One of the best known Czech players in the NHL, forward Petr Nedved, has left the New York Rangers after six years at the club. Nedved, who is 32, has been transferred to Edmonton as part of an exchange deal. In 1994 he represented Canada at the Winter Olympics.
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