Czech football club Viktoria Plzeň face Georgia’s Metalurgi Rustavi on Thursday evening in the second qualifying round of UEFA’s Europa League. The match takes places in Tbilisi and news website idnes reported that Rustavi players actually turned up to watch Plzeň players train. Plzeň finished third in the Czech league last season, a year after winning the Czech League for the first time.
In Sports News: Fans, players mark the 50th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s second-place finish at the 1962 World Cup; Pirlo emulates Panenka with a cheeky chip against England at EURO 2012; Czech football champions Liberec will face Kazakhstan’s Shakhter Karagandy in the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League; Kvitová begins defence of Wimbledon title.
The Czech national team on Thursday lost to quarter final opponent Portugal after Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game in the 79th minute. Portugal is now the first side to enter the semi-finals. The Czech team put up a strong defense throughout the first half of the game, but were no match for Portugal.They barely tested the Portuguese defence and most of the game took place in their half. Goalkeeper Petr Čech, who playsfor Chelsea, delivered a spectacular performance in the goal but was not able to hold the decisive shot. The Czech team played without its captain Tomáš Rosický, who was still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury.
Czech footballer Milan Baroš announced that Thursday’s match was his last for the country’s national team. There had been speculation that the 30-year-old was ready to quit the national team following severe criticism for his performance especially against Russia, which beat the Czech Republic 4:1 in the EURO 2012 opening match. The forward has played a total of 93 matches for the national team and scored 41 goals during that time.
Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie has joined Werder Bremen from Czech champions Slovan Liberec, the Bundesliga club said on Friday. Gebre Selassie, 25, has signed a four-year deal. Selassie, born to an Ethiopian father and a Czech mother, played in all four of the Czech Republic's games at Euro 2012, including the 1-0 quarter-final defeat by Portugal on Thursday when the right back was marking Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Czech national football team lost 1:0 to Portugal in the quarterfinals of EURO 2012 in Warsaw on Thursday and was knocked out of the tournament. In the game, the Czechs delivered their best performance at the championships but failed to stop Portugal’s star Ronaldo from sending them home. Thursday’s match was also the Czech striker Milan Baroš’s last appearance for the national side.
Some 20,000 Czech fans are expected to travel to Warsaw for their team’s quarter final match against Portugal on Thursday evening. Fans left the cities of Prague and Brno on special fan busses on Thursday; hundreds of supporters of the Czech team are travelling to Poland by train. In Warsaw, they will be greeted with Czech-language signs, city officials have said. However, it is expected that the fan turn-out at the Warsaw match will be lower than it was during the group phase games in Wroclaw, which is easier to reach from the Czech Republic.
The captain of the Czech national team, Tomáš Rosický, will not be in the starting line-up of Thursday’s match against Portugal. The manager of the Czech team, Vladimír Šmicer, told Czech TV that the team captain may join the team at a later point in the quarter finals game but that he is still fighting an Achilles heel infection. Šmicer, a former successful midfielder for Slavia Prague and Liverpool FC, has not released any further details regarding the starting line-up. Mr Rosický last Sunday travelled to Prague for treatment; on Tuesday, he returned to Poland and trained with his team mates on Wednesday.
Europe’s football governing body, UEFA on Wednesday banned Czech FA Cup winners Sigma Olomouc from participating in next season’s Europa League over the club’s involvement in a corruption scandal. The Czech football association fined Olomouc for allegedly bribing players from an opposing team to ensure a victory in the last round of the 2008-2009 season. The case is now being review by a court. It is not clear whether Olomouc will be replaced by another Czech team in the upcoming Europa League season.
The Czech Republic’s national football team defeated EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland in their last group-stage game on Saturday to surprisingly emerge as winners of Group A. After a disappointing start to the tournament against Russia, the Czech team gained momentum and beat both Greece and Poland, advancing to the quarter-finals where they’ll play Portugal on Thursday. But the injured Czech captain Tomáš Rosický’s participation in the game is uncertain.
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