Slavia Prague are crowned champions for 19th time with one round to go – coach Trpišovský says he’s relieved to have got over line; Plzeň boss Vrba says charges had successful season despite coming second; Czechs power on with fifth win in six games at hockey worlds; and Plíšková climbs to second in world with Rome triumph.
Slavia Prague have been crowned champions of Czech football’s First League for the second time in three seasons after sealing the title on Sunday with a 0:0 away draw at Baník Ostrava. That result gave Slavia an unassailable points lead over their nearest rival Viktoria Plzeň with one game remaining in the “superstructure”, an extra six games in which the top, middle and bottom groups in the top flight have faced one another after the regular season finished.
Slavia manager Jindřich Trpišovský had this to say following the match that sealed the 19th title in the club’s history.
“Naturally in this moment we are happy that we managed it. Above all it’s a relief, because it has been a long competition. It’s also a beautiful feeling to have brought joy to people around the country and to those who followed us here. But right now I would use the word ‘relief’.”
Midfielder Tomáš Souček was one of Slavia’s key players on the road to the championship.
“It was really hard. We’ve had a very demanding season, including our run in the Europa League. So we’re all terribly happy that we managed to wrap it up one game before the end of the league season.”
Slavia will be able to really toast their title success at home next Sunday, when they welcome traditional rivals Sparta Prague to Eden.
Slavia were out in front for much of 2018–2019, though last year’s champions, Viktoria Plzeň, did narrow the gap somewhat recently. Their manager, Pavel Vrba, said the West Bohemians could also be proud of their season.
“Let me speak about some facts. We accumulated a huge number of points – more than we earned last season. We took seven points in the group stage of the Champions League, which happened for the first time in three years in the competition. So I would rate this season as a successful one.”
The Czech Republic are continuing to impress at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Slovakia. Coach Miloš Říha’s team now have five wins out of six games in Group B, with the most recent an 8:0 drubbing of Austria on Sunday. Following their next outing, against Switzerland on Tuesday, the Czechs will begin the knock-out stage of the competition.
Karolína Plíšková has climbed to number two in the world rankings after becoming the first Czech woman since 1978 to win tennis’s Italian Open in Rome. She overcame Johanna Konta of the UK 6-3 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Petra Kvitová, now sixth in the world, is in danger of missing out on the French Open, which begins in a week’s time. She revealed after Rome that she was suffering from a calf injury.