Sports News

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Turning to sport now, and both Slavia Prague and Sigma Olomouc furthered their European aspirations with impressive results in midweek. Slavia moved into the third qualifying round of the Champions League after a comfortable 4-1 win away to the Azeri team Samkir, a 5-1 win on aggregate.

Richard Dostalek opened the scoring for the Czechs after only 36 minutes only for the home side to draw level with a strike from Badri Kvaratskhelia in the 51st minute. However, two goals within four minutes from the young Tomas Dosek put the tie well beyond Samkir.

And Slavia substitute Peter Svankera took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to put the final nail in the Azeri's coffin in the 72nd minute. Slavia now go on to play Shaktar Donetsk of the Ukraine for a place in Champions League proper. The Czech champions, Sparta Prague, go directly into the third qualifying round, where they will face Zimbru Chisinau of Moldova.

Sigma Olomouc are through to one of the finals of the Intertoto Cup. Yes, no laughing please. The Moravian team fought out a dire goalless draw at the ground of their fellow Czechs, Chmel Blsany, a result which takes them through 3-1 on aggregate. Olomouc will now have a two-legged clash against the Italians Udinese for a place in the UEFA Cup.

Some transfer news quickly and the Sparta defender Milan Fukal has stated that he is not interested in a move to the Bundesliga team SV Hamburg. The German club had targeted the Czech as a replacement for the Danish International Thomas Graveson, who has signed for Everton, but Fukal insists that since he has recently become a father, he doesn't want his wife and newly-born child to be put through the stress of a move abroad. How sweet.

Finally, there's some hope at least for Czech tennis. Jiri Novak beat the number 11 seed Nicolas Keifer of Germany 6-2 7-5 to move into the third round of the Toronto Masters. Let's hope other such results will follow.