In Sports News this Monday: Rosický returns and Čech sets caps record as Czechs beat Malta 6:0 in Euro 2016 warmup; Kadlec returns to Sparta; and young Czechs Krejčíková and Siniaková sensationally knock favourites Hingis and Mirza out of French Open.
The Czech Republic’s footballers beat Malta 6:0 on Friday in the first of three warmup games ahead of Euro 2016 at their training camp in Austria’s Kufstein. The game was notable for young striker Patrik Schick scoring on his debut and the return of Tomáš Rosický, with the 35-year-old playing for 65 minutes in his first appearance for the national team in almost a year.
After the game Czech coach Pavel Vrba defended his decision to select the injury-dogged midfielder in his squad for France.
“There are various views as to whether or not he should have been selected. But I think he showed fans, who had the first time to see him in some time, that his quality really is exceptional. That’s why I made the decision. I hope it turns out well and that Tomáš helps us a lot at the European Championship.”
The drubbing of minnows Malta was the first clean sheet achieved under Vrba since he took over in January 2014. And goalkeeper Petr Čech, who was between the posts for one half of Friday’s match, was far from busy in what was his record-breaking 119th appearance for the Czech Republic.
“I didn’t have much work to do. The conditions were pretty modest – like for a pre-season warm-up game. The match was similar. We coped with then and didn’t concede, which was a positive. It took a while for us to get going, as we’d trained a lot earlier and were tired. But I think once the first goal went in we played well and our opponents couldn’t keep up with us.”
Čech and his teammates will line up against Spain in their first game at Euro 2016 two weeks from today.
Czech full-back Michal Kadlec – whose father Miroslav was part of the team that reached the final of Euro ‘96 – has resigned with Sparta Prague after eight years abroad. Kadlec told reporters in Kufstein that if he had been motivated by money he would have remained at Istanbul club Fenerbache. There is speculation that Tomáš Rosický will also return to Sparta after his recent departure from Arsenal.
The young Czech pairing of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková caused an upset on Sunday when they defeated Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza 6-3 6-2 at tennis’s French Open in Paris. The top seeds had not been beaten in 20 Grand Slam outings. Krejčíková and Siniaková, who are both 20, will now take on their compatriots Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká for a place in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.
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