Sports News

Slovan Liberec, photo: CTK

Coming up in this review of sports news, Liberec and Sparta are out of the Champions League after falling foul of the away goals rule, Czech international Patrik Berger says he's staying on at Liverpool, and Daja Bedanova is through to the third round of the US Open.

Sparta, Liberec out of Champions League

Slovan Liberec, photo: CTK
It's been a sad week for Czech football, after both Slovan Liberec and Sparta Prague were narrowly denied chances of advancing to the group phase of the Champions League. After away losses both teams won their second leg home matches, but both were denied by the away goals rule.

On Wednesday Liberec found themselves just one goal away from going through - they beat five-times champions AC Milan 2-1, but in the end it was the Italian team who advanced after an aggregate score of 2-2. Liberec midfielder David Langer nodded a header into the left corner two minutes before full time, raising the team's hopes of a last minute winner, but in the end it wasn't to be.

Meanwhile on Tuesday Sparta Prague scored a similar Pyrrhic victory over Belgium's Genk - two goals by Jarosik and one apiece from Poborsky and Mares gave Sparta a 4-2 win, but the match finished 4-4 on aggregate, and once again it was Genk who went through on away goals. Disappointment for Sparta, although trainer Josef Jarabinsky had nothing but praise for his team.

"The players gave a great display on Tuesday, I can't fault them. The Sparta fans were superb as well. All we needed was a bit of luck - unfortunately things didn't go our way. We might be out of the Champions League, but there's still the UEFA cup to think about, and we'll be doing everything to get as far as we can in UEFA."

Berger to stay on at Liverpool despite injury woes

Looking abroad, Liverpool's Czech international midfielder Patrik Berger says he will stay at the club for now despite struggling to break into the first team. The injury-plagued player told the club's website on Wednesday that he had no plans to go anywhere for the moment, but might think about moving after January 1st when his contract runs out. The 28-year-old player, who has 40 international caps, joined Liverpool in September 1996 from the German club Borussia Dortmund and has since made 106 appearances in the Premier League.

Bedanova through to third round of US Open

Turning to tennis, and Daja Bedanova looks to be the Czech Republic's brightest hope at the U.S. Grand Slam in New York. Bedanova progresses to the third round after a 7-6 (7-2) 2-6 6-3 defeat of Russia's Elena Likhovtseva on Wednesday. Radek Stepanek, Denisa Chladkova, Kvetoslava Hrdlickova and Adriana Gersi all lost their matches on Wednesday; Gersi announced her retirement after the match.