In Sports News this Monday: Virus-hit Plzeň go into winter break as league leaders after last gasp goal – coach Koubek praises his charges’ determination; third-placed Jablonec not yet up to challenging top two, says manager Šilhavý; leaders Třinec beaten by Sparta in 26th round of ice hockey Extraliga; and Czech mixed team come ninth in relay in biathlon World Cup event.
Plzeň enter winter break as leaders after dramatic win
Plzeň came extremely close to falling behind in the title race with that match against Jablonec tied at 1:1 for much of the final 30 minutes. But cometh the hour, cometh the defender who hardly ever scores. Indeed, Radim Řezník’s 90th minute in-off-the-post strike was only his sixth goal in over 170 games. What’s more Řezník was one of several Plzeň players taken ill prior to the game. Coach Miroslav Koubek was unimpressed by his players’ performance – but praised their spirt.
“Our opponents played well and we played badly. But I’ve got to take my hat off to our players. We kept it secret beforehand, but every second member of our team has been struck by a virus. The team isn’t well so we had to rely a lot on our strength of will – and that was probably clear to see in the early stages. But sometimes that’s the way it goes and you just have to get over it.”
Jablonec not yet ready to challenge top two, says Šilhavý
“We played way better than Plzeň today but when it comes to the final phase, combination play and experience, the difference is marked. But it doesn’t surprise me. They’ve played in the Champions League or the Europa League and done really well. We might win one in five games against them, but we’re not at a point where we could regularly beat Plzeň or Sparta.”