Slavia Prague may have found a replacement for Tomáš Necid, the 19-year-old wunderkind who scored 11 league goals before leaving for CSKA Moscow in January. Tomáš Peckhart, another tall 19-year-old and a pal of Necid’s, helped the league leaders to all three points for the second time in a row on Sunday, when his goal on 53 minutes was the only thing that separated the home side from bottom-of-the-table Zlín. Peckhart, on loan from England’s Tottenham Hotspur, has been quick to play down any comparisons with Necid. He also refused to react to Slavia fans’ chants of “champions”, pointing out there were another nine games to go until the end of the season.
In any case, Slavia will still be 10 points clear even if Sparta Prague beat Teplice away on Monday evening, after the recording of this programme. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at Sparta’s AXA Arena may be relatively muted at the club’s next three home games when the terrace where hardcore fans congregate has been ordered closed, after a ball boy was injured by a flare fired by Sparta “ultras” a week ago. The club has also been fined CZK 250,000.
Slovan Liberec are now in third place, after beating Bohemians Praha 2:1, while Mladá Boleslav are in fourth after notching up their first win since the winter break, 1:0 away to Kladno.
In the Czech ice hockey Extraliga, Slavia Prague were trounced 6:0 by Plzeň on Friday in the opening game of their playoffs semi-finals series at the O2 Arena. The home side were heading for a second defeat on Sunday when they trailed Plzeň 3:1 as the second period drew to a close. But a spirited fight-back saw that game end 6:5 to Slavia, tying the series at 1:1. In the other semi-finals series Karlovy Vary are leading Sparta 2:1 on games and have home advantage for the next game in that series on Monday evening.
Former world tennis number seven Nicole Vaidišová has managed to halt a rather alarming slide down the rankings, climbing eight places to 71st after reaching the third round at Indian Wells last week. That was the first time since Wimbledon last year that the Czech (who is 20 in a month’s time) has won two matches in a row. The upturn in Vaidišová’s fortunes follows a reunion with coach Aleš Kodat, her step-father.
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