Star History | UEFA Cup 2002/2003

During the break, we are looking back to our European campaigns. This time we will take you back to promising UEFA Cup 2002/03 and its unlucky end for Slavia.

Three years after their successful UEFA Cup campaign and the quarter-final against Leeds United, Slavia stood at the gates of quarter-final in the same competition again under the manager Miroslav Beránek. This time, the gates remained closed after a dramatic tie with Besiktas Istanbul, but the red and whites managed to show great performances especially in second legs of all 4 rounds.

READ MORE ABOUT THE 1999/2000 UEFA CUP CAMPAIGN

The salvation of second legs

Slavia started their journey against Belgian club Royal Excel Mouscron. After unconvincing opening game in Belgium (2-2) Slavia fulfilled their role of favourites and won 5-1 home thanks to 2 goals by forward Tomáš Došek.

1st round

Royal Excel Mouscron 2-2 Slavia
Goals: 72’ and 90’ (p) Mbo Mpenza – 41’ Vachoušek, 48’ Petrouš
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Bejbl, Petrouš, Hrdlička; Dostálek, Gedeon (80’ Suchopárek), Skácel; T. Došek (85’ Kuka), Vachoušek, Adauto (62’ Piták)

Slavia 5-1 Royal Excel Mouscron
Goals: 3’ and 40’ T. Došek, 8’ Gedeon, 43’ Vachoušek, 80’ Adauto – 83’ Müller (og)
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Müller, Petrouš, Skácel; Piták, Dostálek (81’ Hrdlička), Gedeon, Kuchař; T. Došek (66’ Kuka), Vachoušek (74’ Adauto)


Adam Petrouš in the away game in Mouscron.

In the second round Slavia had to face Partizan Belgrade and started again away on the hot soil of Partizan Stadium. The Yugoslav club won 3-1 and Slavia prospects were low before the second leg, but the red and whites managed to raise from the ashes again. Leading 3-0 shortly before the end they allow Partizan to score (89th minute) but netted two more goals by Gedeon and Adauto in the added time and qualified for the third round.

2nd round

Partizan Belgrade 3-1 Slavia
Goals: 6’ Lazović, 33’ Ilić, 70’ Vukić – 57’ Dostálek
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Bejbl, Petrouš, Skácel; Piták, Dostálek, Gedeon, Kuchař (46’ Kuka); T. Došek (75’ Adauto), Vachoušek (90’ Müller)

Slavia 5-1 Partizan Belgrade (a.e.t.)
Goals: 11’ and 41’ Vachoušek, 87’ Petrouš (p), 94’ Gedeon, 110’ Adauto – 90’ Ivić
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Müller, Petrouš, Hrdlička (107’ Kuchař); Piták, Gedeon, Dostálek, Skácel; Vachoušek (91’ Adauto), T. Došek (79’ Kuka)


Brazilian forward Adauto and goalkeeper Radek Černý after 5-1 home win against Partizan. Adauto tore his shirt after his goal and finished the game with duct tape around his chest.

The draw sent Slavia south-east again, this time to Greece to take on PAOK. Starting away, Slavia lost 0-1, but the magic of home second legs worked again and the red and whites won 4-0. Pavel Kuka who came from the bench scored two goals in the final minutes.

3rd round

PAOK 1-0 Slavia
Goals: 51’ Georgiadis
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Petrouš, Müller, Skácel; Piták, Dostálek, Gedeon, Kuchař (73’ Kuka); T. Došek (79’ Adauto), Vachoušek (88’ Hrdlička)

Slavia 4-0 PAOK
Goals: 13’ Skácel, 51’ Vachoušek, 89’ and 90’ Kuka
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Petrouš, Müller, Hrdlička; Piták (87’ Kuchař), Dostálek, Gedeon, Skácel; T. Došek (82’ Adauto), Vachoušek (75’ Kuka)


Slavia starting line-up away at PAOK.

Unlucky end in Istanbul

In the 4th round we faced Besiktas Istanbul who became Turkish champions that season. Slavia had to start home for the first time and managed to defeat Besiktas 1-0 thanks to Tomáš Došek’s goal, but the second leg in Turkey took a horrific twist. Slavia were one goal down in the half time, but until 70th minute Besiktas took 4-0 lead. The red and whites did not give up though and captain Richard Dostálek scored from penalty kick in 77th minute. Few minutes later Tomáš Hrdlička who came from the bench scored another goals and Slavia were back in the game. Few minutes before the final whistle, Karel Piták tokk a free kick and his long cross found the back of the net behind Ilić. However, the eruption of Slavia joy was interrupted by the referee who decided that Tomáš Hrdlička was offside even though Slavia midfielder stood aside and did not participate in the action.

Slavia were thus stripped off the goal which would secure them progression into the quarter finals. “We were chasing the referee after final whistle as we had to leave the pitch together with him and Besiktas players. There were a lot of emotions. I have never seen Pavel Kuka so angry in my life. It was giant disappointment for us at that time, we were sad because we could play against Lazio in the next round. I see it as a big mistake of the referee to this day,” says Slavia midfielder Karel Piták about the game today.

4th round

Slavia 1-0 Beşiktaş JK
Goals: 62’ T. Došek
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Müller, Petrouš, Bejbl; Piták, Gedeon, Dostálek, Skácel (87’ Hrdlička); T. Došek (80’ Adauto), Vachoušek (74’ Kuka)

Beşiktaş JK 4-2 Slavia
Goals: 41’ Pancu, 61’ Guiaro, 66’ Dursun, 70’ Mansiz – 77’ Dostálek (p), 84’ Hrdlička
Slavia: Černý; L. Došek, Müller, Petrouš, Bejbl (67’ Kuka); Piták, Gedeon, Dostálek, Skácel; T. Došek (72’ Adauto), Vachoušek (78’ Hrdlička)


Rudolf Skácel and Dobra Kaan in our home game against Besiktas.

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