The Czech Republic's football team extended their impressive unbeaten run to 19 games on Saturday, with a 5:1 win in a friendly against Canada in Teplice. Coach Karel Brueckner took the opportunity to try out several players, and was well rewarded, with three squad members - Heinz, Sionko and Skacel - getting their first international goals. Karel Poborsky also got on the score sheet, crowning his record-equalling 90th cap. Captain Pavel Nedved recently announced his intention to play for his country until the 2006 World Cup, and Czech football fans will be hoping the 31-year-old Poborsky - who is playing so well at the moment - also stays in the Czech team, in which case he should win over 100 caps.
The Czech Under 21s faced a tough trip to Switzerland on Saturday in the first leg of their Euro 2004 play-offs: despite conceding a goal after just seven minutes the reigning European Under 21 champions managed to turn the game around and win 2:1 with goals from Koubsky and an in-form Sverkos. A large crowd is expected to cheer on the Czech "lion cubs", as they are called, in the second leg in Ostrava on Wednesday.
The limousines were out in Prague on Saturday night for the Czech Athlete of the Year awards, and once again the top prize was taken by decathlete Roman Sebrle, who - as usual at such events - was turned out in his army uniform; he is a member of the Dukla army sports club. The junior Athlete of the Year award went to high-jumper Jaroslav Baba.
A new record was set in the ice hockey Extraliga on Sunday, when Jakub Sindel of Sparta Prague became, at 17, the youngest player ever to score a hat trick in the Czech league. The previous record had been held by megastar Jaromir Jagr, who scored a hat trick for Kladno at the age of 18 in 1990. Sindel's hat trick helped Sparta beat Vitkovice 5:0. Two days earlier he and his Sparta team mates lost 4:2 to Slavia in an exciting Prague derby.
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