November 8, 2012
Sparta cement second with draw
Sparta Prague strengthened their grip on second place in Europa League Group I with a 1-1 draw at Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.
The Israeli hosts took an early lead through Darko Tasevski before Leonard Kweuke struck for Sparta.
The draw sees Sparta retain their five-point advantage over their rivals, who will need to win their remaining two matches to stand any chance of overhauling the Czechs.
Sparta had dominated the reverse fixture in the Czech capital two weeks ago, winning 3-1.
But they trailed after just three minutes with Laszlo Lencse teeing up Tasevski with the perfect pass, which the Macedonia midfielder dispatched into the bottom left corner.
Sparta had to wait 18 minutes for their first chance from Kweuke, although the striker directed his header over the bar.
Lencse then turned a right-footed shot past the right post as Kiryat Shmona pressed once more, but their lead was cancelled out after 24 minutes thanks to an unstoppable 30-yard bullet from Kweuke.
The Czechs could have had a second five minutes later but Josef Husbauer saw his poked shot from close range kept out by the feet of Daniel Amos.
And the home goalkeeper came to the rescue again shortly before the interval, blocking a strike from Tomas Zapotocny which was threatening to sneak into the net.
The second half was slow to get going, with Ladislav Krejci's shot from distance the best either side could muster before the hour mark.
Sparta's next chance after 66 minutes set home nerves on edge, though, with Amos producing a superb diving save to palm away a header from Zapotocny.
The Israeli hosts responded well to the warning with Shimon Abuhatzira powering a drive inches over the bar.
But that was as close as they came to a winner, with Sparta happy to settle for a point.
|Hapoel Kiryat Shmona||Sparta Prague|
|13 Daniel Amos||31 Tomas Vaclik|
|81 Dusan Matovic||39 Jiri Jarosik|
|2 Itzhak Cohen||20 Tomas Zapotocny|
|20 Lior Levi||4 Ondrej Svejdik|
|22 Darko Tasevski||19 Matej Hybs|
|6 Ravid Gazal||8 Marek Matejovsky|
|17 Saleh Hasarma||25 Mario Holek|
|18 Bryan Gerzycich||23 Ladislav Krejci|
|26 Sintayehu Sallalich||16 Pavel Kaderabek|
|11 Dan Einbinder||22 Josef Husbauer|
|29 Laszlo Lencse||11 Leonard Kweuke|
|45 Itomar Nitzan||Marek Cech 1|
|15 Elad Gabai||Vlastimil Vidlicka 24|
|4 Ben Vahaba||Roman Polom 27|
|21 Roni Porokara||Milan Jirasek 26|
|23 Adrian Rochet||Jiri Skalak 17|
|16 Adi Elisha||Bekim Balaj 9|
|19 Shimon Abuhazira||Tomas Prikryl 6|
|Ben Vahaba for Saleh Hasarma (58)||Tomas Prikryl for Ladislav Krejci (63)|
|Shimon Abuhazira for Ravid Gazal (61)||Jiri Skalak for Pavel Kaderabek (73)|
|Adrian Rochet for Laszlo Lencse (82)||Bekim Balaj for Leonard Kweuke (79)|
|Darko Tasevski (42)||Leonard Kweuke (50)|
|· Rosters: Hapoel Kiryat Shmona | Sparta Prague|