Czech Republic suffers historic defeat at Wembley; Petr Čech voted 11th best foreign player in Premier League history; three Czechs in Miami Open last 16; Kometa Brno first to reach play-off semi-finals.
It has been a rough start into the EURO 2020 qualifiers for the Czech national team. Jaroslav Šilhavý’s side lost 5:0 to England in the first match at Wembley Stadium on Friday, the heaviest defeat in the history of the international side.
The Czechs, who were missing their captain Bořek Dočkal due to injury, never got much possession, allowing England to dictate the game and score four goals in 68 minutes, with the fifth an unfortunate own goal by centre back Tomáš Kalas.
Coach Jaroslav Šilhavý said his side were outmatched by a high-quality England team.
“Unfortunately, the quality of England was so big that once we opened it up a bit, they quickly managed to score.”
The Czech team will now face Brazil in a friendly in Prague on Tuesday.
Despite its current shortcomings, the ability of Czech football to produce major talent was confirmed on Saturday, when the BBC announced the results of a poll on the best foreign footballers to have played in the English Premier League.
After more than a quarter of a million votes were cast, Petr Čech reached the number 11 spot on the list, behind fellow goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel.
Three Czechs have made it into the last 16 at the Miami Open. On Sunday, Markéta Vondroušová and Karolína Plíšková both advanced to the next round, following Petra Kvitová, who beat Croatian Donna Vekić in three sets a day earlier.
The success of 19-year-old talent Markéta Vondroušová is a cause for particular excitement. The teenager’s Sunday win, where she beat Doha champion Elise Mertens, was her fifth victory against a seeded player in two weeks.
Despite only finishing fifth in the Extraliga regular season stage this year, title defender Kometa Brno walked over Hradec Králové, winning 3:2 on Saturday to gain an overall 4:0 victory in the series.
All of Kometa’s three goals were scored by Martin Zaťovič, who conveyed his feelings to Czech Television after the game.
“It was a tough home game. We had to win it to finish off this series and we managed it fantastically. We are very happy.”
They are the first team to secure a place in the semi-finals, but Oceláři Třinec could soon join them, as they will be playing their fourth game against Vítkovice this evening, in a series they are currently dominating 3:0.
On the opposite side of the Extraliga spectrum, in the struggle to avoid relegation, a historic first was noted, when 16-year-old Jan Myšák became the youngest ever captain to lead a Czech top flight hockey team, after senior captain Michal Trávníček had to skip the game.
The young talent has already become his team’s most productive player the relegation knock-out stage of the league scoring nine points in six games.
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