In Sports News this Monday: in tennis, the US Open kicks off with two main Czech hopefuls; in football, Sparta Prague are eliminated from the Champions League and will only play in the second level club competition this season; in motor-racing, Freddy Loix with Škoda takes the title at the Barum Rally Zlín, and Czechs do fairly well at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore.
In football, Czech defender Tomáš Ujfaluši has ruled out a return to the Czech national squad. In an interview with Sunday’s edition of the daily Sport he said that he would not return to play for his country. The prospect of Ujfaluši’s return in the autumn for European Championship qualifiers was raised in the week by Czech manager Michal Bílek. The 32-year-old defender retired from international football last year. This week he won the European super cup with Spanish team Atletico Madrid.
Czech fans will be able to look forward to a number of clashes between Czech players in the next round of football’s Champions League, as decided in the team draw in Monaco on Thursday. Seven of 11 players on team rosters will be competing in Group F, which includes a match-up between FC Chelsea (who have goalkeeper Petr Čech) and Slovakia’s Žilina, which dispatched of Sparta Prague in the previous round. Tomáš Rosický of Arsenal will face his countryman Tomáš Hubschmann of Donetsk in Group H. AC Milan’s Marek Jankulowski can look forward to matches in the so-called ‘group of death’ which features Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid, and Auxerre, along with the Italian club.
Sparta Prague will face Tomáše Necid and his team CSKA Moscow, along with Italian side Palermo and Switzerland’s Lausanne in Group F of the Europa League. The draw took place in Monaco on Friday. The first match by Sparta will be on September 16 against Palermo. The last group game will be against Lausanne.
Czech league champions Sparta Prague have failed to qualify for the lucrative Champions League. On Wednesday night, Sparta failed to overcome a two goal deficit from the first leg and went down 0:1 against Slovak club Žilina. The Slovak club thus qualifies for the first time for Europe’s premiere club competition. On a miserable night Sparta missed a penalty and never really looked making a fight of the fixture. Pressure will mount on under siege Sparta manager Jozef Chovanec to resign.
Czech league champions Sparta Prague face an uphill battle to qualify for the group stage of the lucrative European Champions League on Wednesday night. Sparta travel to Slovak club Žilina where they have to overturn a 0:2 defeat from the first leg last week. Sparta should be helped by the return of star Ivory Coast striker Bony Wilfried but will be missing two other first team players who were yellow carded in the first leg.
In football, Czech manager Michal Bílek has named a near full strength squad for the first European Championship qualifier against Lithuania. The squad includes recently sidelined goalkeeper Petr Cech and striker Milan Baroš. The only major absence is injured defender Tomáš Sivok. The opening qualifier for the 2012 European Championships will be played in Olomouc on September 7.
In Sports News this week: Sweden’s Peter Hanson wins golf’s Czech Open; the Czech Under-21 baseball team wins the European title;in football, Sparta Prague lose to Žilina in the first leg of Champions League qualifier and fall to Plzeň in the top Czech division; and javelin champion Barbora Špotáková finishes second in the Diamond League event in Zurich but secures the series title.
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