In Sports News: The Extraliga hockey semi-finals get underway between Vítkovice and Pardubice; in football, Plzeň and Sparta come away with wins, leaving the top of the table unchanged; the Czech national squad readies for a key match against Spain in Euro qualifying; and Abraham finishes 13th in his MotoGP debut.
The Czech Football Federation on Wednesday lifted a 10-week ban against
Sparta Prague coach Jozef Chovanec for fielding junior players under false
identities. Coach Chovanec, 50, will therefore be able to take charge of
his side for their league match against Zbrojovka Brno on Saturday.
Chovanec was alleged to have withdrawn two Sparta players from an international under-21 match and then selected them for a club fixture under different identities. The duo played with shirts bearing the names of other players, but the deceit was exposed a day later when photographs of the match were published. The club, who are currently second in the Czech league, five points behind Viktoria Pilsen, were fined 30,660 euros, while the players were suspended for two matches.
Defending champions Eaton Pardubice knocked out Zlín in the playoff quarterfinals after they won 6:2 on Tuesday, scoring their fourth victory in the best-of -seven series, and their 16th consecutive win. The game was tied until the end of the second period when the hosts went ahead 4:2. With four minutes left of the match, Zlín played with an empty net but Pardubice added two more goals to knock out Zlín which ranked fourth after the regular season. Pardubice are the first club to advance to the semis; in the other quarterfinal games, Vítkovíce lead 2:1 over České Budějovice, regular season winners Třinec are tied with Litvínov and Slavia Prague with Liberec.
The Czech men’s tennis team lost 2:3 to Kazachstan in the first round of the Davis Cup after both Tomáš Berdych and Jan Hájek lost their singles in Ostrava on Sunday. Berdych, world number seven, failed to score the decisive third point for the Czechs when he surprisingly lost to Andrei Golubev 5:7, 7:5, 4:6 and 2:6, and brought the rubber to a 2:2. In the final single, Czech Republic’s Jan Hájek lost in three and a half hours to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 4:6, 7:6, 6:7 and 0:6. The loss is a major disappointment for the Czechs who will now play to stay in the Davis Cup World Group.
In Sports News this week: the Czech Republic goes down in defeat at the tennis Davis Cup; Czechs bring home two golds, a silver and a bronze from the European indoor championships; in hockey, the season’s playoff-offs quarterfinals continue; and in football, Sparta narrow the gap behind league leaders Plzeň.
The Czech men’s tennis team is tied 2:2 with Kazachstan in the first round of the Davis Cup after Czech Tomáš Berdych lost to Andrei Golubev 5:7, 7:5, 4:6 and 2:6 in the northern city of Ostrava on Sunday. World number seven Berdych failed to score the decisive third point for the Czechs; he put up little resistance to the Kazakh, ranked 43rd, who showed great tennis throughout the match. In the final singles rubber, Czech Republic’s Jan Hájek faces Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan for a spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
The Czech police said on Sunday that cash, computers and other valuables were stolen from the rooms at the Clarion Congress Hotel in Ostrava where members of the Kazakh tennis team were staying. The theft occurred on Saturday afternoon when the team members were out at the Davis Cup game. The police estimated the damages at 415,000 crowns, or nearly 24,000 US dollars. Hotel management said they would compensate the team members for the loss.
After Saturday’s double, The Czech Republic’s men’s tennis team is leading 2:1 over Kazakhstan in the first round of the Davis Cup. Czechs Tomáš Berdych and Lukáš Dlouhý beat Kazakhstan’s Yuri Schukin and Evgeny Korolev 6:4, 6.4, 7:6 in Ostrava on Saturday, securing the second point for the Czechs. In Friday’s singles, Jan Hálek lost a five-set battle to Golubev but Czech number one Tomáš Berdych equalized when he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7:6, 6.2, 6:3.
In football, Sparta Prague returned to action for their first match after the winter break. The team won 2:0 away at Baník Ostrava, breaking a five year run where they had failed to beat Ostrava on home ground. Both goals were scored by Cameroon player Kweuke. The win leaves Sparta trailing league leader Plzeň by four points.