In Sports News this Monday: Six months after being crowned world champions, the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players fail to take a single point in their first tournament of the new season; the gap at the top of the Czech football league narrows, after leaders Plzeň are held to a draw and Sparta win; Olympic champion speed skater Sáblíková is for once halted by illness; and warm weather brings a high turnout for Prague’s Velká Kunratická cross country race.
Just after the half way point in the season, the gap at the top of the Czech football league has narrowed to seven points. Leaders Viktoria Plzeň were held to a 1:1 at home by Slovan Liberec on Saturday, while second-placed Sparta Prague reduced their deficit after a 2:0 away victory over Slovácko. Plzeň have never taken the title, while Sparta have lifted the trophy 11 times since the establishment of the independent Czech league in 1993.
The Czech football manager Michal Bílek has given first call-ups to Jan Rezek of Viktoria Plzeň and Michal Hubník of Sigma Olomouc for a friendly against Denmark in a week’s time. However, 18-year-old Václav Kadlec of Sparta Prague, who scored on his full international debut last month, will join the Czech Under 21s during the upcoming international break. The Czech Republic are second in their qualifying group to reach Euro 2012, behind reigning champions Spain.
Sparta Prague have kept up the pressure on leaders Viktoria Plzeň with a 4:1 win over bottom-of-the-table Ústí nad Labem in the final game of the 15th round of the Czech football league. Monday’s result means that Sparta – who are defending champions – remain nine points behind Plzeň at the exact half-way point in the 2010-2011 season. Viktoria Plzeň have never taken the league title and next year is their centenary.
Sparta Prague beat Swiss club Lausanne in their Europa league return match 3:1 on Thursday night to considerably boost their chances of going through to the next round of the competition. Sparta came back from going a goal down early on in the game. Other results in the group also went their way with group leaders CSKA Moscow beating Palermo. Sparta are now second in the group with seven points, trailing CSKA on 12 but ahead of third placed Palermo on three points with two games still to be played.
In Sports News this Monday: Slavia Prague win the Prague ice hockey derby after scoring twice against Sparta in under 30 seconds; young Czech goaltender Ondřej Pavelec appears for Atlanta in his first game since collapsing on the ice earlier this season; soccer league leaders Viktoria Plzeň bounce straight back after their first defeat this term; and cyclo-cross world champion Zdeněk Štybar comes first for the eighth time in nine races this season.
In football, Sparta Prague have closed to gap on league leaders Viktoria Plzeň to nine points after a narrow 1:0 home win in the derby match against Bohemians 1905 on Saturday night. The win takes Sparta to second in the table. Sigma Olomouc failed to overtake Sparta, going down 0:1 against mid-table Hradec Králové on Sunday.
In football, Czech league leaders Viktoria Plzeň returned to winning ways with a 4:2 victory over Teplice on Friday night. The win extends their lead to twelve points over second placed Sigma Olomouc and Sparta Prague. Sparta can close the gap on Saturday in the local derby against Bohemians 1905. Olomouc plays mid-table Hradec Králové on Sunday. Plzeň suffered their first defeat since the start of the season last week.
The former Czech football international Pavel Nedvěd has been appointed to the board of directors of the Italian club Juventus. Nedvěd, who is close to Juve’s president Andrea Agnelli, was a huge success during a seven-year playing career at the club, and was named European player of the year in 2003. He made 91 appearances for the Czech Republic, captaining the side for several years.
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