Sports News

Foto: ČTK
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In Sports News this Monday: Plzeň beat Liberec to win soccer season curtain-raiser Super Cup; Čech wins plaudits for Arsenal debut; and it’s Black Panthers versus Bobcats in Czech Bowl American football final.

Plzeň begin season with Super Cup win over Liberec

Photo: CTK
Defending football league champions Viktoria Plzeň have got the new season off to a positive start, picking up the Super Cup after a 2:1 victory over Czech FA cup winners Slovan Liberec. Plzeň have appeared in five of the six Super Cup finals held to date. However, Saturday’s win at their own Štruncovy sady ground was only their second, perhaps suggesting that the relatively new competition has not been of great importance to the West Bohemians. But this time was different, said the scorer of Plzeň’s second goal, midfielder Daniel Kolář.

“To tell you the truth, this time we really went out with the aim of winning. In past seasons we were holding something back. We had other games coming up in three or four days, such as qualification rounds for the Champions League. This time we have a whole week before our next game. So we said we wanted the trophy – and we went for it.”

Manager Miroslav Koubek said Plzeň’s players would celebrate their Super Cup success relatively soberly.

“Of course they should be responsible and mature and limit their celebrations to the changing room and then go out for dinner. I trust the players will do the right thing, even though they do like to celebrate. They’re reasonable. We know what awaits us in the coming days.”

Plzeň’s next game will see them begin their league title defence with a home clash with Slavia Prague in the first round of the new season next weekend.

Čech impresses on Arsenal debut

Petr Čech, photo: CTK
Czech international goalkeeper Petr Čech won plaudits for his debut between the posts for Arsenal. He helped the Gunners to a 3:1 win over Everton in a tournament in Singapore at the weekend with the latter’s only goal described as unstoppable. Čech is facing a rather more spicy encounter on August 2 when Arsenal play his former club Chelsea in English football’s traditional season curtain raiser, the Community Shield.

Panthers face Bobcats in “Czech Super Bowl”

Monday night sees the Prague Black Panthers face the Příbram Bobcats in the 22nd Czech Bowl in American football at the capital’s Eden stadium. The two sides also met last year in the final of the 28-club league, with the Panthers running out convincing winners. Though on a much smaller scale, the event is the local equivalent of America’s Super Bowl. Filip Hobza is the chairman of the Czech American Football Association.

“In comparison with the Super Bowl the Czech Bowl is lagging a long way behind. But we try to make the game into a show in the American style, so there is some parallel. Our campaign this year has the heading ‘The toughest cultural event of the year’. We want to point to the parallels between sport and culture. It’s always a matter of great emotion and drama.”