Slovakia picks 2 strikers in squad for qualifiers
Slovakia will kick off its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with only two strikers in its squad despite failing to score enough goals to qualify for the European Championship earlier this year.
Coaches Stanislav Griga and Michal Hipp picked forwards Marek Bakos of Czech club Viktoria Plzen and Martin Jakubko of Russian team Amkar Perm on Monday for the opening Group G matches at Lithuania on Sept. 7 and against Liechtenstein in Bratislava four days later.
Slovakia scored only seven goals in 10 qualifiers in its failed campaign to reach Euro 2012.
Usual first-choice strikers Robert Vittek and Stanislav Sestak were left out. Vittek scored four goals at the 2010 World Cup.
Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik and Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel were both included in the 22-man squad.
Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Everton), Dusan Pernis (Pogon Szczecin), Dusan Kuciak (Legia Warsaw).
Defenders: Peter Pekarik (Wolfsburg), Lukas Pauschek (Slovan Bratislava), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Tomas Hlubocan (Zenit St. Petersburg), Kornel Salata (Rostov), Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz), Marek Cech (Trabzonspor).
Midfielders: Vladimir Weiss (Pescara), Juraj Kucka (Genoa), Karim Guede (Freiburg), Viktor Pecovsky (Zilina), Lubomir Guldan (Ludogorets Razgrad), Lubomir Stoch (Fenerbahce), Michal Breznanik (Liberec), Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Marek Sapara (Trabzonspor), Michal Duris (Viktoria Plzen).
Forwards: Marek Bakos (Viktoria Plzen), Martin Jakubko (Amkar Perm).