Sparta Prague beat FC Vaslui 1:0 in the second leg of the Europa League’s play offs in Prague on Thursday night; however, the hosts dropped out of the competition as they lost the first leg 2:0. Sparta, with a two-goal deficit from the first leg, pushed to score early but the Romanian team's defence resisted. With time, the visitors had some good opportunities but it was Sparta that went ahead on a goal from Manuel Pamič in the 59th minute. Sparta tried to score a second goal but ran out of time.
In Sports News this Monday: a young English golfer takes his first big title at Czech Open; in tennis, Tomáš Berdych beats Roger Federer at Cincinnati before later pulling out with a shoulder injury; Czech football titleholders Plzeň gear up for the second leg of their Champions League play-off; also, Czech canoe racer Lukáš Koranda wins silver in the 5000 metres at the world championships in Hungary.
Football club Sparta Prague lost 2:0 in the first-leg against Romania’s Vaslui – a preliminary round match-up for the Europa League. Temwanjera opened the scoring against the visitors in the 13th minute, a play in which Sparta goalkeeper Blažek was crashed by Gerlem. The Sparta goalie had to be treated for potential injury and looked shaky on Vaslui's second goal, also in the first half, when he mishandled the ball into his own net. In the second half he was replaced by Švenger. Sparta’s loss on Thursday was the Czech club’s first on Romanian soil since 1982.
Czech football champions Viktoria Plzeň sensationally beat FC Copenhagen 3:1 in Denmark on Tuesday night, in the first leg of the Champions League’s play-offs. The Czechs weathered the home side’s initial push, and their moments of glory came in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Czech international Pavel Horváth put a long pass in front of the box to Daniel Kolář but Copenhagen’s defenseman Sölvi Ottesen sent the ball into the net, scoring an own goal. Seven minutes later, Plzeň scored again when Václav Pilař amazingly hit the net from just outside the penalty area. The Danes then narrowed the score with a header by Ottesen in the 69th minute. But the most beautiful goal came ten minutes later when Horváth again passed a long ball to substitute Martin Fillo on the right side of the pitch who, alone against five defenders, turned and scored into the goal’s upper right corner, stunning the hosts. The Czechs have a great chance of making it to the Champions’ League group stag; the second leg is scheduled in Prague next Tuesday.
One of the best strikers in the history of the Czech national football team, Jan Koller, has decided to end his professional career. The 38-year-old player for Cannes told the Czech Press Agency on Wednesday that growing health problems involving his leg muscles and heart were a warning sign that it was time to quit. Koller has played for Cannes in the third French league for the past year and a half and he had a contract for another season. He says he plans to attend a one-year course of French and then decide what to do next. Jan Koller played 91 matches on the national team in which he scored 55 times. He won the bronze medal at Euro 2004 in Portugal and has champion titles from the Czech, Belgian and German leagues.
The football club Baník Ostrava signed on Tuesday a five-year contract with their former striker Václav Svěrkoš. The 27-year-footballer returns to Ostrava after a stint with the French club Socheax and Greece’s Panathinaikos. Václav Svěrkoš said he chose Baník despite having been offered contracts from other clubs because he felt at home there.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech footballers fail in a friendly against Norway while at home, action continues in Gambrinus Liga; two Czech riders see mixed luck at motorcycle Grand Prix in Brno; Czech cross country rider wins 2011 World Cup; and three-time hockey world champion Oldřich Machač dies aged 65.
The Czech national football squad is readying for a friendly against Norway, its final international match before qualifying for Euro 2012 resumes in September. The Czechs will face the Norwegian squad in Oslo on Wednesday. Team coach Michal Bílek said that his side needed a good result to improve the atmosphere ahead of the upcoming qualification match against Scotland. New players nominated to the squad include Marcel Gecov and Tomáš Pekhart. Regulars like goalie Petr Čech and striker Milan Baroš are also on the roster for Wednesday.
In Sports News: Czech mountain bike racer Jaroslav Kulhavý clinches the European championship title for the second year in a row; tennis player Štepánek ends almost two-year drought, winning the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington; football’s Sparta defeat Jablonec, continuing their successful start to the season; top female ref Dagmar Damková oversees her last match in the top domestic league.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott