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Sparkling Sparta sink Porto

Published: Wednesday 20 March 2002, 23.00CET
AC Sparta Praha 2-0 FC Porto - AC Sparta Praha ended FC Porto's hopes of reaching the last eight.

Match statistics

Sparta PrahaPorto

Goals scored2
Attempts on target8
Attempts off target5
Fouls committed18
Yellow cards2
Red cards0



P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 20/11/2017 15:47 CET
Published: Wednesday 20 March 2002, 23.00CET

Sparkling Sparta sink Porto

AC Sparta Praha 2-0 FC Porto - AC Sparta Praha ended FC Porto's hopes of reaching the last eight.

AC Sparta Praha 2-2 FC Porto
Two wonderful second-half goals lit up AC Sparta Praha's UEFA Champions League Group C game against FC Porto - and ended the Portuguese side's hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Porto frustrated
To squeeze into the last eight, Porto needed to win and rely on Panathinaikos FC losing to Real Madrid CF, but they were frustrated by a well-organised, energetic Sparta side that refused to roll over.

Sionko stunner
As a result, the game was a tight affair, but Sparta hit twice in eight minutes to shatter Porto's dreams. On 63 minutes Libor Sionko cut inside from the right and latched onto Jirí Jarošik's well-weighted through ball, outpacing the Porto defence. He checked and cut inside Silva, advanced towards the edge of the box and dispatched a low, firm shot into the corner of the net.

Jarošik free-kick
Then with 20 minutes left to play, Porto substitute Rafael brought down Cizek 28 metres from goal. Jirí Jarošik promptly stepped up and rifled the free-kick high into the Porto net to double Sparta's lead. Ultimately both sides bowed out of the competition, but both goals were certainly worthy of the knockout stages.

Bright start
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Porto who had started the brighter side. Eight minutes into a tight first half, Helder Postiga beat Sparta defender Zdenek Grygera to a ball bouncing awkwardly into the Sparta area and stretched out a leg to lob the advancing keeper Petr Cech, but his effort drifted across the goalmouth and just wide of the unguarded net.

Thunderous effort
At the other end, Sionko's thunderous effort was parried by Paulo Santos on the 15-minute mark, but Porto again pushed forward. On the half-hour mark, Deco raced clear down Porto's inside-left channel, but his fierce shot was aimed straight at Cech.

Quick thinking
Three minutes before half-time, Sionko's quick thinking freed Cizek on the Sparta right. He played a through-ball to Hartig, who looked up and tried to slip his shot past Paulo Santos, but the Porto keeper made a fine save.

Horror header
Moments later there was chaos in the Sparta area. Cech was forced to push Deco's free-kick behind and when Jarošik attempted to clear the ensuing corner, he watched in horror as his header crashed against his own crossbar before bouncing to safety.

Lacking spark
But, perhaps affected by news from Athens, Porto lacked spark after the break, and Sparta seized the opportunity to show some of the form which got them to this stage of the competition. In addition to the terrific goals, Lukáš Hartig saw his shot saved and Tomáš Cízek sent a first-time effort fizzing narrowly wide of Paulo Santos's goal.

Shattered dreams
As Sparta sat back on their lead in the dying minutes, Rafael and Clayton both had good opportunities for the visitors, but goals, along with Porto's quarter-final dreams, simply failed to materialise.

Last updated: 16/11/12 7.42CET