In Sports News this Monday: Late Plzeň goal pushes title race to final weekend but Slavia remain in pole position; David Bystroň becomes second ex- Plzeň player to commit suicide in few weeks; Czechs remain sixth in IIHF rankings after disappointing worlds; and Hejnová switches coaches.
Czech soccer’s top flight is set for a dramatic season climax, with two teams still vying for the championship with only one round to go. Slavia Prague are in pole position, after a 2:1 away win over Mladá Boleslav at the weekend left them two points in front.
Their only challengers for the title are current holders Viktoria Plzeň. They kept themselves in contention – and spoiled what would have been a party at Slavia – with a 90th minute strike to beat Brno 1:0.
Speaking after Slavia’s game against Boleslav, the club’s manager Jaroslav Šilhavý said news of the late twist in the Plzeň game had left his players deflated.
“I’ve come from a dressing room where it doesn’t look like we’ve just won a game. We’re all crestfallen, even though we should be rejoicing. Some of the guys were already celebrating when the news about Plzeň came through. So we calmed down. But I have to thank the players. We have hope going into the final game. It’ll be in front of our home fans, even though it’ll be at Strahov. We need to manage it and take that final step.”
All the games in the final, 30th round of the season will take place simultaneously next Saturday evening. Slavia are set to take on Brno and Plzeň will welcome Jihlava.
One club where the corks have already popped is Bohemians 1905. The Prague side avoided relegation at the weekend with a 2:0 home victory over Karviná. Bohemians’ Martin Hašek Jr., whose father is the club’s manager, said they had been satisfied with the two-goal advantage.
“We’re not in the kind of shape to beat everybody 4:0. We focused on defending and tried to launch counterattacks. If you look at the table, it’s clear we’re not a high-scoring team. That’s one area where probably – no, definitely – we could have done better.”
Meanwhile, Hradec Králové and Příbram have both been relegated from the first division.
Off the field there was tragedy in Czech football at the weekend, with the news that David Bystroň had committed suicide at the age of 34. His former Viktoria Plzeň teammate František Rajtoral killed himself just last month.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey team remain sixth in the rankings of the IIHF. The Czechs came seventh in the sport’s World Championships in France and Germany after beating beaten 3:0 by Russia in the first knockout round on Thursday.
The Czech 400 metres hurdles star Zuzana Hejnová has ceased working with German trainer Falk Balzer after six months. The two-time world champion will now prepare under Dana Jandová, who was her coach when Hejnová was a teenager.
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