Viktoria Plzeň consolidate football league lead ahead of winter break; video referee helps Sparta win; bright start for Czech women in world handball championships; and Lukáš Krpálek among the medals after injury.
We begin with football and another win for Viktoria Plzeň means that in the last game before the winter break they have a 14 point lead on second placed Slavia Prague. What’s more, Plzeň remain undefeated so far this season and have dropped just two points in 16 games.
The latest win came not surprisingly from the season’s top striker so far, Michael Krmenčík. The brace of goals against Jablonec takes his tally to 11 goals. And that performance has stirred speculation that the Plzeň striker could be poached by bigger clubs with the West Bohemian club earning a high sum. Krmenčík says his target is to win the league and help the club qualify for the Champions League next time round.
Staying with football, a first for Czech football when Sparta Prague faced Mladá Boleslav. It was not the 3:0 scoreline for Sparta, though such away wins are rare for the Prague club these days, but the fact that a video consultation contributed to Sparta’s opening goal in the 12th minute. The consultation confirmed that the ball hit the post and slipped over the line and under the keeper for an own goal.
The win relieves some pressure on Sparta’s Italian manager, Andrea Stramaccioni, but still leaves the club in fifth position. Sparta’s manager looked back on the season so far. "I could not imagine how tough the Het Liga, Czech League, could be. It is a difficult league and different from the Seria A and other leagues. Of course I made mistakes, but learning from mistakes you can teach yourself and improve. So I know now, sure, a lot beter this league. And we have to use the break."
And the Czech women’s handball team have created some surprises with the 100 percent winning start to the world championships being hosted in Germany. The Czechs have notched up wins against Argentina and the fancied Poles in their two opening games and top the second qualifying group alongside Norway with four points. They next face Sweden. The bright start means the Czechs have a high chance of reaching the last 16.
And Czech judo Olympic gold medal winner Lukáš Krpálek is back from injury and proved himself to be in winning form. In his first ‘Grand Slam’ event in Tokyo after being sidelined by an ankle injury Krpálek won the silver medal in over 100 kilo category. The Czech was out of competitive judo for five months due to the injury and missed out on the world championships. He says the ankle appears to be holding up well in spite of taking some painful knocks.