10 YEARS AGO: Slavia lift the Czech title after 12 year break

On Saturday, 17 May 2008, Slavia lifted their first title since 1996 and second title of independent Czech league. The red & whites thus crowned the “Season of Dreams” with their first ever appearance in the UEFA Champions League Group stage.
Slavia needed one point from the last game of the season with Jablonec. The game was the very first league match in the brand-new Eden Arena which had opened its gates just a week before in a friendly against Oxford University AFC (the very first international opponents of Slavia back in the 19th century). The game with Jablonec was sold-out quickly and the attendance 20.698 spectators remains one of the highest attendances of the Arena so far (due to several adjustments of the stands later).

First goal of the game was scored by Tunisian international Tijani Belaid from a free kick at minute 51, but Jablonec equalized quickly, just a minute later, by Igor Žofčák. The red & whites took lead once again on 87th minute and came very close to the title with Sparta being one goal down in Liberec. Jablonec equalized again in the added time but one point was enough for Slavia. We finished on top of the table, 3 points ahead of Sparta and 5 points ahead of Baník Ostrava and Zbrojovka Brno.

In fact, the end of the season was quite a drama. After 27th round, just 3 games to go, Slavia were second in the league, 4 points behind Sparta, losing 0-3 to Viktoria Žižkov and 1-3 to Teplice. Sparta however did not win a single game in the last 4 rounds (0-1-3) and let us have the title. Slavia repeated the same success a year later much easier, being on top of the league from the 8th to 30th round continuously finishing 6 points ahead of Sparta.

Slavia 2-2 Jablonec (0-0)

Goals: 51. Belaid, 86. Pudil - 52. Žofčák, 90. Krejčí
Slavia: Vaniak, Brabec, Hubáček, Latka, Toleski, Šmicer (62. Tavares), Šenkeřík (83. Pudil), Suchý (76. Jarolím), Švento, Krajčík, Belaid.
Jablonec: Špit, Krejčí, Homola, Huber, Hamouz, Michálek, Valenta (81. Fujerík), Eliáš (71. Loučka), Žofčák, Klapka, Straka.
Booking: Pudil - Valenta, Klapka, Žofčák
Attendance: 20.698



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