In sports news this Monday: the women’s basketball world championship gets underway in the Czech Republic; in football, Galatasary’s Milan Baroš scores a hat-trick and gets injured in a single game; and at home, Plzeň set a league record as they establish a convincing lead at the top of the Gambrinus liga.
The Czech Republic is hosting the women’s world championships with sixteen teams competing in the event. Australia and the United States are the strong favourites for gold; world’s number two, Russia, also have their hopes high.
The Czech team kicked off the tournament against Argentina on Thursday, and won 67:53. The next stop for the Czechs was Russia on Saturday. The Czechs started off well, but Russia soon took over and built up a lead of 11 points at half time. The Czech team came back in the second half with the final score ending at 55:52. Hana Horáková scored 17 points for the hosts.
“It was a tough game; we knew we had to win against Russia. But we played badly in the first half. We improved in the second half but it wasn’t enough. I think we only played with six or seven players, which was too few for such a difficult game. It was very physical basketball so we needed more players.”
On Sunday, the Czechs played their remaining opponent in Group D, Japan. They were not expected to put up much resistance to the Czechs but a series of mistakes in the last two quarters allowed the Japanese to reduce the difference to four points with three minutes to go. The Czech team eventually won 66:60. Czech centre Ilona Burgrová thanked the crowd for their great support.
“It was hard because the Japanese, they love to fight, they don’t want to give up, so it was very hard but I think that fans enjoyed it. But you can expect us to fight even more because we want to go further. And we love the crowd because we rarely play in front of such crowds; they gave us a lot of energy.”
With the win over Japan, the Czech women secured the second place in their group, and advanced to the next stage. In the next group round they are playing South Korea on Monday, followed by Spain and Brazil.
Moving on to football now; it only took Czech striker Milan Baroš 36 minutes to score a hat-trick in Galatasaray’s 3:1 win over city rival Istanbul BB on Sunday. In the fifth minute, Baroš headed in from the edge of the six-yard box. The second strike came nine minutes later when Baroš converted a penalty for handball. And the Czech international completed the hat-trick five minutes before half time with the most spectacular of the three goals: on a break, Baroš received a pass in the box, flipped the ball up, fell but still volleyed home past the goalie.
Baroš’s performance moved him to 3rd place in Turkey’s Super Lig’s top score chart with five goals. But the Czech forward suffered a muscle injury in Sunday’s game which puts him out of action for two to three weeks; he will most likely miss the Czech national side’s European Championship qualifiers against Scotland and Liechtenstein in October.
And finally, in home football action, top division leaders Plzeň set a league record on Sunday after beating Příbram 2:1, in what was the ninth straight win in a row. Plzeň now lead the table with 28 points, more than any top flight club ever totalled after the first ten rounds.
Sparta Prague drew 1:1 with Mladá Boleslav on Saturday, and lag nine points behind Plzeň. Slavia Prague failed to win in their ninth consecutive game on Friday, when they lost 3:0 to underdogs Slovácko. Slavia now ranks 12th in the Gambrinus liga, and trail the leaders by 18 points. Slavia manager Karel Jarolím offered to step down after the defeat but club management want him to keep him on – at least until Friday’s game against leaders Plzeň.
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