Sports News

Slavomir Lener, Photo:CTK

New Czech ice hockey coach Slavomir Lener has got off to a bad start, with the Czechs losing 5:2 against Russia in his first game in charge. The country's football team are preparing for a friendly against Yugoslavia, the last warm-up for their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. Jiri Novak is out of the US Open, after a defeat at the hands of favourite Lleyton Hewitt.

Bad start for ice hockey coach Lener as the Czech Republic lose to Russia

Slavomir Lener, Photo:CTK
The new coach of the Czech ice hockey team Slavomir Lener won't have been best pleased with the result of his first game in charge, when the Czech Republic were beaten 5:2 in a friendly against the old enemy Russia. Searching for some consolation after Tuesday's game, Lener said that at least his team had managed to get a couple of goals back after being 4:0 down. The youngest player on the Czech team was Milan Michalek, making an impressive debut at the age of 17. At the other end of the age spectrum, 37-year-old goaltender Petr Briza played his first international in six years. Briza had this to say after the game.

"I think for all of us the first game was a bit a test. We were very active at the start of the game and we had a fair few chances - unfortunately we didn't manage to convert them. The Russians played very tactical hockey; they hung back and waited for breaks. They have a young team and they managed to outnumber us - they got into dangerous situations and took advantage of them."

The Czech Republic's ice hockey team will have a chance to get revenge on the Russians - and show what they can do against the Swedes and the Finns - in a tournament which gets underway in Zlin, south Moravia, on Thursday evening.

Czech footballers ready for Yugoslavia friendly

The Czech football team are also ready for action; they take on Yugoslavia in Prague on Friday, in the last friendly before their qualification campaign for Euro 2004. Goalkeeper Petr Cech has yet to concede a goal at international level, but he's let in nine in his last three games for his club Rennes. During a break from training, Cech was asked what kind of form he was in ahead of Friday's game.

"When you're training it's not possible to tell because we don't score goals in training, but like I say, there'll be a marked difference when we actually play the match."

Czech league football news

League champions Liberec conceded their first goal of the season on Monday, but they won't have minded too much - they got two back to beat Teplice 2:1 away. Liberec's first goal came from Jan Nezmar - his first of the season. As for Teplice, they've had a dreadful start to the season, with only three points from five games, and have just sacked coach Frantisek Cipro.

Bohemians have had an even worse run in the league, with only one point in five games. Talks between the club and former Sparta Prague coach Jaroslav Hrebik have broken down, and it now appears that caretaker manager Dusan Uhrin jr will remain at Bohemians on a full time basis.

Novak loses to favourite Hewitt in US Open

Jiri Novak's good run in tennis's US Open came to an end on Monday when the Czech number one came up against favourite and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. Novak lost 4:6 2:6 5:7 in one hour and forty minutes.