Sports News

Photo: CTK

In Sports News this Monday: Sparta Prague maintain lead in football’s Gambrinus liga while Plzeň search for a new manager; in hockey, Jaromír Jágr ties NHL record of game-wining goals, and the Czech relay wins World Cup event in biathlon.

Football: Sparta maintain lead in Gambrinus liga

Photo: CTK
Sparta Prague celebrated the club’s 120th anniversary with a 4:1 win over Mladá Boleslav that maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table. Sparta came from behind to equalize just before the half-time break. That goal came from forward Ladislav Krejčí, who surprised the visitors’ goalkeeper with a near post strike.

“I tried it a few games ago against Teplice but then I only hit the side netting. I practice it in training but the guys already know about it. When I’m coming to the goal from the side, goalkeepers usually expect a shot to the far post and the move away a little, and this time it worked.”

Press: Plzeň eyes coach Zdeněk Zeman to replace outgoing Vrba

Zdeněk Zeman,  photo: Paolo Magliani,  CC BY-SA 3.0
Defending champions Plzeň remain in second spot after a 3:1 victory over Zbrojovka in Brno on Friday. It was their first game since manager Pavel Vrba announced his departure to the national team and much attention has been given to their search for a replacement. After unsuccessful efforts to hire former national team manager Karel Brückner and Dukla Prague’s Luboš Kozel, Plzeň have reportedly now approached the veteran Zdeněk Zeman. Zeman, who moved to Italy in the late 1960s, has managed such Serie A clubs as Roma and Lazio.

Russian investor interested in Slavia Prague

The troubled Slavia Prague, meanwhile, could soon get a financial boost from Russia. Last week, Slavia coach Miroslav Koubek met with a representative of an unnamed Russian investor who is looking to buy 50 percent of the club’s shares, according to a report by Deník Sport.

The club’s owner, Aleš Řebíček, has good reasons to look for a buyer: the club last week posted a 137 million crown loss for the previous season while this year, Slavia has sunk to the penultimate position of the league table after a string of unconvincing results. Details of the planned transaction could be unveiled at a meeting of the club’s shareholders in some three weeks’ time.

Hockey: Jágr ties Gordie Howe’s NHL record of game-winning goals

Jaromír Jágr,  photo: CTK
Veteran Jaromír Jágr is in impressive form with the New Jersey Devils. On Thursday, the 41-year-old scored his team’s winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings. Jágr scored the 690th goal in his NHL career, tying Mario Lemieux as the league’s ninth all time best scorer. At the same time, he also tied Gordie Howe’s NHL record of 121 game-winning goals. After the game, Jágr spoke to reporters about his landmark score.

“I didn’t even see the goal, I didn’t see the net. I had a sense where the net was. That’s a Datsyuk move, hold it, hold it, hold it – but he always puts it in the top shelf, and I’m not that good. I just squeezed it in; that was the only thing I could to – outwait the goalie and put it in. But I really didn’t see the net.”

In 23 games for the New Jersey Devils this season, Jágr has scored nine goals and nine assists, topping the team’s points chart, just ahead of another two Czechs, Marek Židlický and Patrik Eliáš.

Biathlon: Czech mixed relay team wins World Cup event in Sweden

Gabriela Soukalová,  photo: CTK
The Czech mixed relay team won the season’s opening World Cup event in Östersund, Sweden, on Sunday. The Czech team’s women, Veronika Vítková and Gabriela Soukalová, missed some shots but were second in the race when the men took over. In his run, Zdeněk Vítek maintained second position while Ondřej Moravec, the last Czech in the race, went in front after France’s Martin Lafourcade missed four times at the last shooting. The Czech team won the first World Cup event ahead of Norway and Ukraine.