In Sports News this Monday: Baroš scores twice for Mladá Boleslav against relegation-bound boyhood club Ostrava as soccer season resumes; no change at top as Sparta prepare for Europa League action; and Czech women’s biathlon team win relay on eve of World Championships.
After a winter break lasting over two months, Czech top flight soccer resumed at the weekend. And one of the most closely watched games saw striker Milan Baroš lining up with Mladá Boleslav against Baník Ostrava. Baník was Baroš’s boyhood club and he returned there in recent years only to move on last summer after a very public falling out with management. The club – which recently changed hands and is effectively fielding a youth team – has only four points from 17 games and looks nailed-on for relegation. So Baroš, who is now 34, said he took no pleasure from scoring twice in Mladá Boleslav’s home 3:0 win over Ostrava on Sunday.
“I had tears in my eyes at the end. It’s the club where I grew up. It still upsets me that I had to leave – otherwise I’d still be there… They have good players, but it’s a new Baník and it will take some time for things to come good. They’re all 17 or 18 years old, so even a 3:0 defeat like today will teach them a lot. If they’re to win promotion back to the first division next season, they’ll have to be prepared.”
Manager Vlastimil Petržela – who has helmed several Czech clubs and enjoyed success in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg – took over at Ostrava last month with the full expectation that they will go down. He says he is focused on getting his young charges in shape for next year’s promotion challenge.
“I’m glad that the team is 90 percent made up of guys from Ostrava. This is a real Baník, not just some cobbled together side. I said that I would bring the club back to the first division next year and that’s what I am going to do.”
There was no change at the top of the league after match-day 17. Leaders Viktoria Plzeň beat Slovácko 2:1 on the road while Sparta Prague, who are three points off the pace, overcame Zlín away by the same score-line. Sparta will be in action again on Thursday, when they welcome Russia's Krasnodar in the Europa League.
The Czech women’s biathlon team came first in the relay at a World Cup event in America’s Presque Isle at the weekend. Eva Puskarčíková, Lucie Charvátová, Gabriela Soukalová and Veronika Vítková achieved their best result so far this season at an opportune time – at the last such meeting before the World Championships in Oslo at the start of March. Soukalová had a great weekend all round, also coming first in the sprint and the pursuit to maintain her overall lead in the World Cup.
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