Sports News

UEFA Cup - Viktoria Zizkov against Glasgow Rangers, photo: CTK

Viktoria Zizkov have caused a huge upset in football's UEFA Cup by knocking out Glasgow Rangers, while three other Czech teams have also made it through to the second round. Meanwhile, the Czech national team are preparing for two Euro 2004 qualifiers. The Czech Republic have drawn Russia in the first round of tennis's Davis Cup, and ice hockey coach Josef Augusta has gotten off to a bad start with bottom of the table Havirov. All those stories and more are in Sports News.

Zizkov cause major upset by putting Glasgow Rangers out of UEFA Cup

UEFA Cup - Viktoria Zizkov against Glasgow Rangers,  photo: CTK
For the first time ever four Czech teams have made it into the second round of football's UEFA Cup. Viktoria Zizkov caused the biggest upset in the whole tournament by knocking out Scottish league leaders Glasgow Rangers. Zizkov were 2:0 up from the first leg, but faced the mammoth task of defending that lead in front of 45,000 Rangers fans at Ibrox park. It was 2:0 to the Scots after 90 minutes, and they must have thought they had it in the bag when they got a third in extra time. But they weren't counting on true super-sub Marcel Licka, who scored for Zizkov three minutes after taking the field. Goalie Pavel Kucera somehow managed to withstand the Rangers onslaught till the final whistle, securing a famous victory for Zizkov. Goal-scorer Marcel Licka was still grinning ear to ear when he arrived in Prague on Friday.

"In the 98th minute they went 3:0 up and it looked like they were going through. Around two minutes later there was a bit of a messy situation in the 16-yard box and the ball fell to me. Their defenders forgot about me because they were watching the taller players, and I just put it in the net at the far post."

Sparta Prague won 1:0 away to Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg, going through 4:0 on aggregate, Liberec also won 1:0, thereby beating Dinamo Tiblisi 4:2 overall. The most goals came at Slavia Prague, who stunned Belgium's Mouscron with two early goals, eventually winning 5:1 on the night and 7:3 on aggregate. The draw for the next round takes place on Tuesday.

National team preparing to face Moldova and Belarus

Meanwhile the Czech national side are preparing for their first Euro 2004 qualifiers. They visit Moldova on Saturday and play host to Belarus in Teplice next week. With several midfielders out, coach Karel Brueckner has called up Jan Simak, who is not having a happy season at Leverkusen. Two of the strikers in the Czech squad faced each other on Saturday; Jan Koller scored for Dortmund in their 3:0 win over Hannover, for whom Jiri Stajner missed a penalty.

Tough draw for Czechs in Davis Cup

The Czech Republic's Davis Cup team have got a tough draw for the first round of next season's competition - they will face a Russian team which features the likes of Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.

Bad start for Augusta as Havirov fail to score in two defeats

Former Czech national ice hockey coach Josef Augusta has had a nightmare start in charge of bottom of the table Havirov. Augusta's team lost 4:0 away to Karlovy Vary on Friday, and again failed to score even once when they went down 1:0 at home to Extraliga leaders Litvinov. Pardubice are second after beating Znojmo 3:0 on Sunday while Plzen are third in the league following a 4:3 win over Slavia Prague.

Czech volleyball team knocked out of world championships

After scraping through to the last 16 at the world championships in Argentina, the Czech Republic's volleyball team failed to make it to the quarter-final stage after losing to Brazil, the Netherlands and France.