FC Slovan Liberec | Report: Sparta - Liberec 1:0
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Championship group, Round 2: AC Sparta Praha – FC Slovan Liberec 1:0

Derek OBrien
Baník Ostrava fell in Jablonec, giving Slovan a great opportunity to get closer or even take fifth place. However, one of the best Czech clubs - Sparta Prague - stood in their way. It was not an ideal performance from the home side, but Slovan couldn’t take advantage and lost 1-0 at the Generali Arena.
N2, Saturday 11.5.2019, 20:00
Sparta Sparta
Sparta: Heča - Zahustel (85. Chipciu), Radakovič, Costa, Hanousek - Karlsson (63. Čivič, Sáček, Hašek, Frýdek, Hložek - Drchal (75. Tetteh).
Liberec: Nguyen - Fukala (83. Musa), Kačaraba, Mara, Hybš - Breite (c), Oscar - Malinský (75. Nešický), Sýkora (70. Pešek), Potočný - Kozák.
Goal: 5. Costa. Yellow cards: 64. Čivič - 21. Malinský, 23. Kozák, 25. Fukala, 51. Oscar, 90+3. Breite. Referees: Nenadál - Moláček, Podaný.


The first chance went to Sparta in the 5th minute after Potočný brought down Hanousek. On the ensuing free kick, Hložek hit the wall and the ball bounced to Frydek, who sent a hard ground shot to Nguyen. The Liberec keeper couldn’t control the rebound and Costa was fastest to the ball and made it 1-0 to Sparta. In the 12th minute, Swedish midfielder Karlsson fired at Nguyen from in close. Slovan got their first hint of a chance in the 20th minute, but Kozák shot high. Four minutes later, Kačaraba shot from a distance. Kozák tried to catch up, but he was out of the way and it posed no threat to Sparta.

Shortly after half an hour had been played, Potočný went down in the Sparta area and the Slovan players argued for a penalty for that foul and the subsequent hand of Hanousek, but none was given. After a couple chances by Hašek, the pace of the game calmed down. At the end of the half, Oscar took a beautiful perpendicular pass from Kozák, but Costa blocked the drive. Then Hybš, right in front of Hečo, tried to find Kozák, who didn’t expect the pass and the chance was finished. The teams went to their dressing rooms with Sparta still ahead 1-0.

At the beginning of the second half, Malinský threatened but his shot was blocked by a defender. At the other end, Nguyen had to be attentive to stop Henta’s nice shot. Like the end of the first half, Slovan was the slightly more active team, but ultimately, neither side produced very much. Liberec didn’t seriously threaten until the 88th minute, when Petar Musa, who had entered the game five minutes earlier, sent a shot from the right side and Kozák got a head on it, missing the open side of the goal by mere centimetres. Although Slovan tried, they just weren’t able to equalise and so it ended in a 1-0 defeat.

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