If there were any fears that Slavia, which is struggling with goals in the league – a goalless draw in Teplice, only a goal from a penalty in the derby with Sparta and in Pardubice – it would be difficult to conquer the defense of the Moldovan team in the Europa League, they were alarmed already in the opening ten minutes.
Striker Mojmír Chytil scored, and after a standard situation, Nigerian stopper Igoh Ugbu joined him with a precise header.
The result was actually decided.
In the end, Eden was full, free seats were only in the visiting fans’ sector, and could roar with goal joy six times. Added to it was the satisfaction that, with this beating, Slavia settled at least partially the score with the team that almost brought it to ruin fourteen years ago.
Revenge was sweet
The last seconds of the 2009/2010 Champions League play-off match were already ticking away. Slavia, which defended the Czech title and for the first time in history also took a look at the most prestigious club competition in the world and wanted to repeat it, brought a goalless draw from Moldova, the relatively early intervention of the then luxurious reinforcement of the fast Adam Hloušek pushed them to multi-million earnings.
But the second insurance goal did not come, everything collapsed at the very end. After an unnecessary foul, the opponent’s desperate kick went into the penalty area, the cross could not be diverted to safety, the ball returned and stopper Ferreira beat goalkeeper Hanuš. Back then, the rule was that a goal on foreign soil was worth more. Slavia fell.
The match will forever remain written in black letters in the red and white chronicle. “Every time I think of him, I get a chill down my spine,” says forward Stanislav Vlček, a witness to the disaster, who now works as the team’s manager. “It was a sporting accident,” coach Karel Jarolím admits.
The Slavists therefore take the six-goal allocation to the Moldovan tormentor as a great satisfaction. A revenge that tasted very sweet.
Elimination from the Champions League had fatal consequences. Economical. Although Slavia entered the newly created European League through Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, where they encountered strong opponents, the French Olympique Lille, the Spanish Valencia and the Italian Genoa. From a sporting point of view, it was a worthwhile break, but the financial losses were huge. Direct liquidation.
Hundreds of millions escaped from the coffers, the over-indebted club appeared, but avoided imminent collapse. Contracts with the most expensive players were terminated so that they would not have to be paid high allowances (Tunisian representative Hocine Ragued), players left without compensation, just to reduce wage costs.
Jablonec boss Miroslav Pelta used to recruit the ‘big stork’ (Jan Kovařík, Ondřej Vaněk) into the squad for the hopes of the future for a sum that covered the club’s monthly expenses. He was granted just to keep the club alive.
Consolidation dragged on, there was a threat of losing a professional license and falling to amateur status, i.e. relegation to these competitions.
Everything was resolved only by the averted insolvency proceedings in August 2015, when the new investor settled debts in the amount of 11.5 million after maturity and 157.6 before it. That is, the amount that would be easily covered by the income from participation in the Champions League in the year 2009/2010.
It is no wonder that the big win over Tiraspol, which stopped the problems, is so valuable for the Slavists.
Conquerors of Real
However, the meeting with the Moldavian champion did not only evoke gloomy historical reminiscences, the club from the capital of the Transnistrian Republic, which is not recognized by the international community, where only Russian is spoken and politically supports the Putin regime, is a strong player on the continental scene.
He reigns over the domestic scene, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and gaining independence, he has already collected an incredible twenty-one titles, only twice has anyone else rejoiced, he has reigned continuously since 2001.
Slavia – Sheriff 2009
Slavia Prague – Sheriff Tiraspol 1:1 (1:0), August 5, 2009, Champions League play-off second leg
Goals: 15. Hloušek – 90. Ferreira. Spectators: 13 483.
Slavia: Hanuš – Čelůstka, Suchý, Vomáčka, Hubáček – J. Černý (89. Tafat), M. Jarolím (62. Vasiljevič), Ragued, Janda – Vlček, Hloušek (74. M. Černý). Coach: Jarolím.
Tiraspol: Greetings – Mamah (72. Bulat), Ferreira, Tarkhnishvili, Rodriguez – Ruamba, Corneencov – Diedhiou (59. Franca), Arbanas, Suvorov (82. Volkov) – Brothers. Coach: Koutchouk.
Slavia – Sheriff 2023
- Slavia Prague – Sheriff Tiraspol 6:0 (3:0), November 5, 2023, Europa League Group G 2nd round match
- Goals: 4. and 71. Caught, 7. Ogbu, 39. own Garananga, 47. Schranz, 58. Douděra. Spectators: 17 844.
- Slavia: Mandous – Masopust (78. Bořil), Ogbu, Holeš – Douděra (66. Tomič), Oscar, Zafeiris (66. Provod), Dumitrescu – Schranz (66. Van Buren), Wallem (66. Ogungbayi) – Chytil. Coach: Trpišovský.
- Tiraspol: Koval – Tovar (46. Badolo), Kiki, Garananga – Zohouri, Ademo (46. Vardar), Talal, Artunduaga (56. Apostolakis) – Mbekeli, Ricardinho (56. Ankeye) – Luvannor. Trainer: Bordin.
And he gradually established himself in European competition, he is a regular participant in continental competitions. And he can surprise, literally shock. It is enough to recall the conquest of Santiago Bernabeu, the sanctuary of the world’s most famous and successful club of Spain’s Real Madrid in the basic group of the Champions League in September 2021 in a ratio of 2:1.
But none of the ‘heroes’ of that time are in the team that has now visited Eden. The owner of the club, oligarch Victor Gușan, a former officer of the Soviet secret service KGB, thanks to inexhaustible financial resources, buys players all over the world every year and then conveniently dissolves the squad after the end of the year. Players who beat Real Madrid with Ballon d’Or winners Karim Benzema and Luka Modrić are always in demand.
Slavia approached the match with such a team cautiously. “Tiraspol is not an outsider,” coach Jindřich Trpišovský warned before the match. “But I know what we need to improve,” he found a recipe for breaking down the opponent’s defense.
It was successful a total of six times.
Almost equal record
After chanting ‘give them a storm’, the wish was heard until the hour of the game, when David Douděra made his mark, the excited fans after the second accurate strike by striker Chytil (in the 71st minute) moved on to another challenge: ‘one more’. They knew what would happen – Slavia would equal the record for the highest win in a European competition.
It dates back to last July, when in the return match of the 2nd preliminary round of the Conference League, they defeated St.Josephs from Gibraltar 7:0. Two goals from Olayink contributed to the win, he was joined by Jurečka, Fila, Tiéhi, Ewerton and Traoré. Of these scorers, only forward Václav Jurečka could add another hit, but he remained on the substitutes’ bench. The others are gone.
However, others experienced this goal machine and it was within their power, and that of other teammates, to equal and surpass the record. Mick van Buren’s solo drive was neutralized by the Moldovan goalkeeper, the visitors’ stopper stopped the shot of Nigerian youngster Victor Ogungbayi, there were other chances.
To take revenge on a beloved opponent and right a historical wrong with a new shooting record, that would literally be something! But even so, the fans thoroughly enjoyed the six-goal night.