Plzeň come back to claim point at Sparta but points gap reduced to just five; Třinec and Kometa tying 1:1 in Extraliga finals; Kreuziger claims second place in Amstel Gold Race; and Czechs preparing for Fed Cup semis in Germany.
All eyes were on Sparta’s Letná stadium on Sunday when the Prague side welcomed Viktoria Plzeň for one of the most attractive games of the season. The West Bohemians went into the winter break 14 points in front in the league but have been stuttering since the resumption so Plzeň fans may have felt they were headed for another setback when the visitors went 2:0 down within 20 minutes. But Plzeň held their nerve, finding the net twice from corners in each half for a final score of 2:2.
However, Slavia Prague are drawing ever closer to the leaders and increased the tension with a 3:2 win over Karviná on Friday. Indeed, with six games remaining, the points gap is now only five, the narrowest margin since late August, and coach Pavel Vrba concedes that the West Bohemians may not make it over the line.
If Viktoria Plzeň are eventually pipped to the championship by Slavia it would be one of the most humiliating collapses in the modern history of Czech football.
It’s all square after two games in the domestic ice hockey Extraliga playoff finals. Třinec made home advantage pay with a strong start to the best-of-seven series, overcoming Kometa Brno by 5:1 on Saturday.
On Sunday, however, it was the turn of Brno to take a point, after they held off a fightback led by Jiří Polanský: with Kometa winning 3:0 he scored twice to put Třinec in with a chance, though that game eventually concluded 3:2. The series continues – in Brno – on Wednesday evening.
The Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger came second in this year’s Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands. The 31-year-old lost out to surprise winner Michael Valgren in a sprint in the final stage in Valkenburg, failing to repeat his 2013 victory in the prestigious road race.
Kreuziger’s second-place finish confirms the good form he will hope to also bring to bear next weekend in the one-day Lutych-Bastogne-Lutych classic in Belgium.
The Czech women’s tennis team are preparing to face Germany in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup next weekend. Kateřina Siniaková was the last player called up and will feature alongside the more experienced Karolína Plíšková, Petra Kvitová and Barbora Strýcová.
If the Czechs advance in Stuttgart they will play either France or the US in the Fed Cup final in October.