Sports News

There was a rather sorry performance by the Czech football team last night--the Czechs lost 1-0 against Slovenia in a friendly international in the Moravian city of Ostrava. Slovenia's Miran Pavlin scored in the second half after a surging run from skipper Ceh through the centre of the Czech midfield. Pavlin shot low past goalkeeper Blazek at the near post. The Czechs had just one shot on target, five minutes before the end.

Pretty pathetic stuff, but coach Jozef Chovanec had a fairly good excuse: a total nine players including four of his top stars--Nedved, Poborsky, Berger and Smicer--had excused themselves with injury problems. Chovanec said after the match the result was partly goalkeeper Blazek's fault, but the whole team should shoulder some of the blame. "The Slovenians," said Chovanec, "were more dynamic than us and outplayed us one on one." There is little from the Czech performance, watched by just five thousand people, to suggest that Chovanec's team to start the World Cup qualifying match against Bulgaria next month will differ from his Euro 2000 squad.