In football, Sparta Prague lost 1:2 in the first leg of their Europa League last eight tie against Villarreal. The Czech visitors conceded in the third minute with a howler when Sparta keeper Bičík cleared a back pass late so that it rebounded against the legs of Villarreal’s Bakambu. Against the run of play, Sparta’s Brabec scored from a corner just before the interval. Bakambu doubled his tally in the 63rd minute. After his early mistake Bičík emerged as a hero making countless saves as the Spaniards sought to widen their lead. The return leg is in a week with Sparta facing serious doubts about what sort of team they can field due to yellow cards and injuries.
In football, Sparta Prague flied out Wednesday for their Europa League first leg tie against Villarreal. The Czech club has a series of injury worries ahead of the last eight encounter. Goalkeeper Bičík and defender Holek both missed the weekend league in which Sparta lost 2:0 against Jihlava. They should be recovered for Thursday’s match in Spain but midfielder Zahustel and Jiráček are almost certain to miss the match.
The Czech Republic’s footballers drew 1:1 with Sweden on Tuesday night in their last friendly before the European Championship. The Czechs, with nine changes to the line-up that lost 1:0 to Scotland last week, went behind to a goal from Marcus Berg before Matěj Vyrda equalised for the visitors. The Czech Republic will be in a group with Spain, Turkey and Croatia at the Euros, which get underway in France in mid-June.
The Czech national soccer team are preparing for their final warm-up game before the European Championship in France. Pavel Vrba’s men are set to take on a Swedish team featuring world star Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Stockholm five days after a 1:0 home defeat to Scotland in another friendly. Tuesday night’s game is seen as a final chance for some players to prove they deserve to be in the squad for the Euros, which get underway in mid-June.
The Czech Under 21 soccer team have climbed to the top of their qualifying group for next year’s European Championship after beating Latvia 2:1 in Uherské Hradiště on Friday evening. Both goals came from Bohemians 1985 striker Patrick Schick. The Czechs are two points ahead of Belgium in the six-team Group 1 but the latter have a game in hand.
In football, Czech manager Pavel Vrba has called up three extra Sparta Prague players for upcoming friendlies against Scotland and Sweden. The call ups have come for Martin Frýdek, Lukáš Maraček, and Jakub Brabec. Mareček and Brabec have been selected for the full team for the first time. All three have impressed for Sparta in the Czech league and in the team’s triumphant Europa League run to the last eight of the competition. The Czech Republic plays Scotland on Thursday and five days later travel to Stockholm for the game against Sweden.
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