Slovácko entered the sixteenth round of the season with only one victory to their name. And on Saturday afternoon, the Uherské Hradište welcomed fellow relegation candidates Vysočina Jihlava to the Městský fotbalový stadion Miroslava Valenty. It was a game that the club’s management and players described as a must-win fixture and despite recent history indicating that a low-scoring draw would be the end result, Slovácko emerged victorious and moved out of the bottom two as a result.
Slovácko should have taken an early lead after Tomáš Zajíc was clipped by Miroslav Keresteš in the visitors’ penalty area. The Czech under-21 international picked himself up to take the resulting spot-kick, only to scuff his effort wide of Matej Rakovan’s right hand side post.
After the early scare, Jihlava grew into the tie and took a lead in the 26th minute through Jiří Krejčí near post header. But, after the interval, Slovácko rebounded and turned things around thanks to two goals in as many minutes. Vlastimil Daníček and Jakub Petr were the ones to find the back of the net for the hosts.
The win – and the three points that goes along with the victory – sees Slovácko leapfrog their opponents and move up to fourteenth.
Baník Ostrava replaced Slovácko in the drop zone, thanks to their 2-1 defeat to Slavia Prague, at Eden on Friday evening. The game could be characterised as being the Michal Frydrych show: The one-time Baník defender put into his own net to give his former club a surprise lead, only to be instrumental in the reigning champions’ comeback, eventually getting the game-winning goal after Milan Škoda had equalled things up only minutes previously.
Karviná entered the weekend just one point and one place above the bottom two, but thanks to their 1-0 win over Bohemians 1905, they ended up three points and two places above Baník in fifteenth. The game at Karviná’s Městský Stadión is unlikely to live long in the memory, though Lukáš Budínský’s late strike could prove to be vital in the Silesian club’s battle against relegation.
The tie is also likely to be interim manager Lubomír Vlk’s last in charge of Karviná, with the club announcing that they are looking to appoint somebody on a permanent basis over the winter. Former Baník boss Martin Svědík has emerged as an early favourite for the job.
There was only one draw this past weekend, and that came in the all Moravian tie between Zbrojovka Brno and Zlín. 18-year-old forward Martin Zikl opened the scoring for Brno with his first goal in the senior football. His goal, a neat finish from the edge of the eighteen yard box, looked for so long to be the winner. However Zikl’s fairytale game was curtailed with just four minutes to go when Mirzad Mehanovič grabbed a late equaliser for ten-man Zlín.
Back up at the top of the table, runaway league leaders Viktoria Plzeň picked up their fifteenth win of a successful autumn campaign as they beat Jablonec 2-0 at the Doosan Arena. Both goals came from the boot of Michael Krmenčík, who moved to eleven goals for the season with his brace.
Arguably the game of the weekend took place at Liberec’s Stadion u Nisy as Slovan Liberec, who began the match in fourth took on a Sigma Olomouc side that started the day in second.
Vladimír Coufal got the only goal of the game to ensure that departing sporting director Jan Nezmar left the Czech northeast on a high, with the victory moving Liberec to within two points of their Moravian counterparts. Despite the loss, Sigma end autumn in third, a fantastic achievement for the newly promoted side.
After suffering defeat last time out, Sparta Prague rebounded with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Mladá Boleslav at the Generali Arena. The game was decided early on as the Letná side raced into a 3-0 lead inside 36-minutes, with the Balkan pairing of Eldar Civić and Srđan Plavšić catching the eye on their return to Sparta’s first-team.
And finally, Teplice comfortably saw off Dukla thanks to goals from Martin Fillo and Jan Rezek. However, the game will likely be remembered for Ondřej Kušnír dismissal after the former Sparta and Slovan Liberec fullback picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes and was promptly given his marching orders just seconds before half time.