A sold-out Letna stadium was treated to a thoroughly convincing display by the Czech Republic's football team on Wednesday night, with the home side dispatching a weak Austria 4:0 in their fourth Euro 2004 qualifier. After a slightly shaky opening spell, on 19 minutes Karel Poborsky showed more skill than he has for some time, cutting inside from the right to set up a sweet chipped goal from Pavel Nedved. Soon afterwards Milan Baros took advantage of disarray in the Austrian defence to put the ball through to Jan Koller, who showed he can't half dribble for a big man, making his goal look oh-so-easy. The second half saw a Marek Jankulovski penalty after Baros was brought down and yet another goal from Koller, this time a header following a superb cross from that man Jankulovski. Two-goal hero Jan Koller had this to say soon after the game.
"We have an excellent team, an excellent group of people and we all have one aim - to qualify for the European Championships. Everybody gives their all, everyone is motivated and you can see that on the pitch. As a striker I myself am glad to be scoring goals and I'm glad I can help the whole team and I hope it helps get us to the European Championships."
The Czech Republic now lead Group 3 and are ahead of main rivals Holland on goal difference. Their next Euro 2004 qualifier is against Moldova at home on June 11.
The Czech Under 21s haven't been doing too badly either. After beating the Dutch 3:0 last week, they notched up a 3:1 win over Austria on Tuesday and lead their European Championships qualifying group by five points.
The president of the Czech Tennis Union, Ivo Kaderka, has criticised player Daja Bedanova for considering giving in to her sponsors' wish that she take German citizenship. Kaderka also had a go at the Germans, saying they couldn't produce any good young players themselves. Bedanova says she will decide on the matter soon. Ivo Kaderka also said on Wednesday he would only allow the Czech women's team to go to the United States for a Fed Cup tie later in the month if their security can be guaranteed. He said he feared a terrorist attack.
Slavia Prague have reached the finals of the ice hockey Extraliga play-offs for the first time in their history, after beating city rivals Sparta 4:2 on games with a 5:2 win at Sparta on Monday evening. Slavia face Pardubice in the final series, which starts on Saturday.
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