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Great success of the Czech national football team at the international tournament in Baku



They had to tighten the game from the beginning, but the Czech national team turned the battle with Serbia around at the end of the final match and celebrated their triumph at the International Small Football Tournament in Baku with a 4:3 win.

The Azerbaijani Federation of Small-Sided Football invited nine world teams to the tournament to mark the centenary of the birth of the country’s former president Heydar Aliyev. The Czech team did not find an opponent in any of the seven matches played at the Baku Tennis Academy.

“The finals were tough, after the group and knockout part there was a lot to do, but we found morale and inner strength in the team. Even in an unfavourable situation we managed to turn the match around and compete with our opponent. We made it through the tournament to the goal we set and dreamed of here. I’m glad we did it and it turned out the way we wanted,” said Czech national player Tomáš Jelínek.

“We pushed the Serbs in the combination, Bajro (Ondřej Bíro – ed.) was shooting, I was spinning in front of the goal to make it uncomfortable and I was crossing it into the net. We are glad that we reduced the score to 1::2 and we could start pushing to turn the game around,” said the midfielder of Prague Hanspaulka.

Coach Stanislav Bejda’s charges first made up the two-goal deficit and when the Serbians rebounded 3:2, they found an answer again. “We didn’t catch the beginning, or rather the Serbs had enough strength, which surprised us. We got the first goal from an own goal, when a dude just hit it in the wicket, there was nothing we could do about it. About six minutes later, after our mistake, we got a goal to 0:2 and it didn’t look too rosy.

However, we showed great morale and heart, we managed to turn the game around and we tightened up the opponent, then they ran out of breath. This resulted in the winning goal, when the Serbian boys basically scored it themselves. Maybe the match should have been a draw, but I think we were better, with heart and morale we pulled through to victory,” described Czech captain and goalkeeper Ondřej Bíro.

Denis Laňka, a forward from Most, scored a hat-trick in the final and took home the trophy for the tournament’s top scorer. “Of course, I am glad that we made it as a team. I think we played the best game against Serbia in the whole time we have been here in Baku. I’m glad that we didn’t give up even at 0:2 and managed to finish the game with a winning score. And my feelings? We are first and I won the top scorer. Since it was my first tournament, I would like it to be like this every time,” he rejoiced.

He scored ten goals in Baku. “The team’s success means a lot to me because I jumped into small-sided football not knowing what to expect. It’s satisfying and I’m happy for everyone that we made it. I promised the boys in Most that I would bring back a gold medal and a statuette for the top scorer, so what I said, I delivered. I’m glad for the service the guys prepared for me, many times I didn’t have a hard task and I just kept on knocking. I’m glad that it worked out that way and that we won it here,” Laňka was pleased.

His Bridge teammate Bíro received the award for the best goalkeeper of the tournament. “The trophy doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s a recognition of the work of the whole team. If I didn’t have the guys in front of me who blocked a bunch of shots, I would never get the award. It’s a bit of a paradox that a field player in big football and a goalkeeper in small football, still at this age, collect trophies for the best goalkeeper,” smiled captain Biro.


Czech Republic – Serbia 4::3
Goals:: 3x Laňka, Jelínek – Celin, Tomicic, Renic

For 3rd place::

Azerbaijan – Kazakhstan 2::2, penalties 0::1
Goals:: 2x Akhundov – Kaskyrbayev, Ashenov


Kazakhstan – Czech Republic 2::8
45. Saurunbayev, 50. Khashimov – 1., 14. and 49. Lanka, 34. and 42. Míča, 7. Hakl, 17. Frébort, 38. Moucka.

Knockout stage::

Czech Republic – Ukraine 4::1
Goals:: 15. Sodoma, 33. Laňka, 35. 41. Moučka – 41. Tsopa.

Group A

Italy – Czech Republic 1::4
Goals:: 33. Andrea – 9. and 31. Sodoma, 45. Vávra, 52. Pazdera.
Georgia – Czech Republic 3::6
Goals:: 46. and 48. Koplatadze, 49. Gvetadze – 5. and 7. Kasal, 19. and 45. Laňka, 8. Sodoma, 49. Moučka.
Serbia – Czech Republic 2::2
Goals:: 6. Guberinic, 27. Ignjic – 3. Pazdera, 10. Laňka.
Azerbaijan – Czech Republic 0::0

Czech team for the international tournament in Baku::

Goalkeepers:: Ondřej Bíro (Most), Ondřej Beran (Partyzan Příbram)

Field players:: Jiří Sodoma, František Hakl, Tomáš Jelínek (all Hanspaulka Praha), Michal Vávra, David Macháček, Milan Šídlo (all Predátoři Praha), Jaromír Frébort, Ondřej Moučka (both Baník Ostrava), Daniel Kasal, Denis Laňka (both Most), Vojtěch Pazdera (Olomouc Mighty Ducks), Jiří Míča (Jihlava Miners)