The Czech Republic was eliminated from the World Cup 2010 contention on Wednesday after a 0:0 home draw with Northern Ireland. To secure second place in qualifying Group 3, the Czechs needed to win and San Marino would have to draw or beat Slovenia. However, the Slovenes won 3:0, leaving the Czechs third in the group. Wednesday’s game was appearance for the national side for Czech defender Marek Jankulovski of AC Milan.
So it’s official, the Czech Republic’s footballers will not be going to next year’s World Cup in South Africa. With Slovenia, as expected, beating San Marino, the result of the Czechs’ final qualifier against Northern Ireland in Prague on Wednesday night became irrelevant. In any case, a poor game ended 0:0. It was the last match in charge for coach Ivan Hašek and the last appearance for left back Marek Jankulovski, who retires with 78 caps. Given the fact their group looked relatively easy, where did it all go wrong for the Czech Republic? That’s
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s footballers beat Poland in Prague but would still need a miracle to reach next year’s World Cup; Czech manager Ivan Hašek says his charges have given their all since he took the helm; and at almost 57 years old, legendary Czech jockey Josef Váňa wins the gruelling Velká pardubická on Tiumen, a horse he himself trains.
The Czech football team has to hope for a miracle to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after Saturday’s results. Although the Czechs beat Poland 2:0 at home, the hoped for victory of table-topping Slovakia over Slovenia failed to happen. Slovenia won 2:0. That leaves the Czechs needing to beat Northern Ireland in the last qualification match on Wednesday and hope that minnows San Marino can at least earn a draw with Slovenia. That scenario would give the Czechs a second place play-off spot.
Violence erupted outside the stadium ahead of the Czech-Poland football World Cup qualifier on Saturday night. Trouble apparently began when Polish fans without tickets tried to get past stewards and storm in. Mounted police, police with dogs and a special action squad were called in to restore order. Police detained 18 fans of which three were charged. Around 3,000-4000 Polish fans are thought to have come to Prague for the game. The number of police and stewards was doubled because of Polish fans reputation for violence at away matches. Police said the return home seemed to have passed without major problems.
Czech manager and head of the Czech and Moravian Football Federation, Ivan Hašek announced on Sunday that he would make his future clear as national coach after Wednesday’s game against Northern Ireland. He only took on the post of team manager in the summer after talks with other candidates broke down and had always stressed it was a temporary solution. At that stage, the World Cup qualification chances of the Czech team were already pretty long. Hašek said on Sunday that he already had some idea what could follow after Wednesday’s final qualification match.
The Czechs must beat Poland on Saturday night to keep their hopes of qualification for the 2010 World Cup alive. As well as a victory in Prague, the Czechs must also hope that table-topping Slovakia beat Slovenia. Even with a win on Saturday, the Czechs still have to clinch qualification for South Africa with victory in their last game against Northern Ireland on Wednesday. The Czechs are currently fourth in their group. They are unable to overtake Slovakia but have a chance of piping Slovenia and Northern Ireland for the second place.
Czech police have launched massive preparations for the influx of Polish football supporters for a key World Cup qualification game in Prague on Saturday night. Recent violent clashes at away matches have earned Polish fans a reputation as being amongst the worst in Europe. Around 4,000 Poles are expected for the match with around half that number reportedly already in the Czech capital. Czech police have doubled normal security for such matches with 800 stewards and 1,000 police called up in Prague. A special anti-conflict squad will also be on standby.
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