The Czech Republic’s opening match against Northern Ireland in the 2018 FIFA World Cup UEFA qualifying tournament ended in a 0:0 draw on Sunday, with the Czechs picking up one point. The team played an offensive game under their new coach Karel Jarolim, but were unable to break Northern Ireland’s defense. The Czechs could have gone ahead in the fourth minute when a cross found right back Pavel Kadeřábek unmarked inside the six-yard box but it was at waist height and he only managed to put the ball over the bar with his thigh. The team’s next games are against Germany, Azerbaijan and Norway.
Czech football club Viktoria Plzeň has confirmed it will play its upcoming Europa League match against Roma with its stadium partly closed – punishment by UEFA over the racist behaviour of some its fans. Incidents were registered in the club’s Champions League qualifying match against Ludogorets Razgrad on August 23. The manager of the club said it was taking a zero-tolerance approach and that it would fight without compromise against racist behaviour. The match against Roma takes place on September 15.
The Czech Republic’s national football team have won their first game under new manager Karel Jarolím, beating Armenia 3:0 in Mladá Boleslav on Wednesday evening. The goals came from Ladislav Krejčí, Václav Kadlec and Jan Kopic, while it was only the side’s second clean sheet in 26 outings. The match was a warm-up ahead of the Czech Republic’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins against Northern Ireland in Prague on Sunday.
The Czech national soccer team have gathered in Prague ahead of their first games under new coach Karel Jarolím. The Czechs are set to face Armenia in a friendly in Mladá Boleslav on Wednesday before taking on Northern Ireland in Prague in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday. Five players, including Petr Čech, retired from international football after the recent Euro 2016, at which the Czech Republic picked up just one point in three games.
Key players for football club Viktoria Plzeň Daniel Kolář and František Rajtoral, with the club since 2008 and 2009, respectively, have signed with Turkish side Gaziantepspor. Kolář and Rajtoral, both 30, were part of a team which won four league titles and twice played in the first round of the Champions League.
Czech league title-holders Viktoria Plzeň have failed to reach the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition. The West Bohemians drew 2:2 at home with Ludogorets Razgrad on Tuesday night but went out on aggregate after losing the first leg in Bulgaria 2:0 last week. Plzeň played in the lucrative Champions League in 2011 and 2013. This term they will take part in the second-tier Europa League.
In football, former defender for the Czech national team Martin Jíranek is returning to Czech league football. The 37-year-old former defender with Spartak Moscow, Reggina, and Birmingham has signed a contract with first division Příbram. Before leaving the Czech Republic, Jíranek played for Liberec and Bohemians 1905. He played 31 games for his country including the semi-finals of Euro 2004.
In Sports News this week: no medals so far for the Czechs at Rio but they have pulled off some surprises and comebacks on the tennis courts. In football, both league title holders Viktoria Plzeň and Sparta Prague make a stuttering start to the season. And Czechs made an impression at the Moto Surf Wold Cup in Prague.
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