After winning the European Under 21 Football Championships for the first time ever last year, the Czech Under 21s have failed to reach Euro 2004, after losing to Switzerland on penalties in play-offs in Ostrava on Wednesday. Two more Czech footballers have signed with Russian clubs, continuing a recent trend. In ice hockey, goaltender Roman Cechmanek kept a clean sheet for Los Angeles on Wednesday as he won his 100th NHL victory.
Czech Under 21 footballers fail to reach Euro 2004 after penalty drama
"It's sad that it ended that way. Throughout the qualifying campaign myself and the other guys did our best to get through and then we lost everything on penalties. It's tough, and I'm sure it'll be going through my head for a long time. It's a pity, a big pity, because I really think we're a good team."
Dostalek and Petrous join exodus of Czech footballers to Russia
The exodus of Czech football talent to Russia continued this week, with Slavia Prague's Richard Dostalek and Adam Petrous both signing for Rubin Kazan, where they will join former Sparta Prague captain Jiri Novotny. There are now around a dozen footballers from the Czech Republic playing in Russia, and another former Sparta man, Jiri Jarosik, recently became the first Czech to win a Russian league title, with CSKA Moscow.
Meanwhile, English club Manchester City are said to be interested in signing Sparta goalkeeper and Czech international no. 2 Jaromir Blazek.
Ice hockey round-up
Czech goaltender Roman Cechmanek celebrated his 100th win in the NHL on Wednesday, keeping a clean sheet as his Los Angeles Kings beat Nashville 3:0. In the Czech Extraliga, Pardubice consolidated their position at the top of the table with a 3:1 win over Ceske Budejovice on Tuesday. Meanwhile, in the biggest game of the 24th round Zlin, who are now in second, won 3:1 against Sparta Prague, who are in fourth.
Ulihrach happy to be playing tennis despite slow comeback
Czech tennis player Bohdan Ulihrach has been talking about his less than successful return to the game after being suspended on a subsequently overturned drugs charge. Ulihrach has only played six ATP tournament matches since returning to the sport in July, though he says he is simply happy to be playing at all. The Kolin-born player is appearing at a challenger in Pruhonice near Prague this week.