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Sparta end Vardar challenge

Published: Wednesday 27 August 2003, 0.22CET
AC Sparta Praha 2-2 FK Vardar (Agg: 5-4) Czech challengers twice fight back to level and progress.

Match statistics

Sparta PrahaVardar

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target2
 
2
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 27 August 2003, 0.22CET

Sparta end Vardar challenge

AC Sparta Praha 2-2 FK Vardar (Agg: 5-4) Czech challengers twice fight back to level and progress.

AC Sparta Praha's 3-2 away victory in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against FK Vardar proved decisive as tonight's 2-2 draw in Prague saw the Czech challengers reach the group stage.

Sparta return
The 5-4 aggregate success means Sparta return to the last 32 after an absence of one year. They fell behind to Slavco Georgievski's strike on the half-hour before Karel Poborský levelled soon after. Vardar were within a goal of progressing after Bless'ng Chinedu Anyanviu restored their lead but Libor Sionko prevented a shock with the final goal in the 82nd minute.

Rapid counterattacks
Vardar were the only side from the first qualifying round to advance to the final one, and they showed the form which helped them eliminate PFC CSKA Moskva in the previous round in the early stages here. A series of rapid counterattacks saw them force home goalkeeper Jaromír Blazek into a number of smart saves, particularly from the prolific Brazilian forward Oliveira.

In-form Poborský
Blazek could do nothing after 30 minutes, though, when Georgievski looked up to find himself free in the Sparta area before drilling in the opening goal. If the Macedonians had hoped to build on their lead they had not accounted for the skill of Poborský, who took his tally in the tie to three goals with a ferocious shot from 20 metres three minutes later.

Disallowed goal
The visiting goalkeeper, Gogo Jovcev, who was standing in for the suspended Muarem Zekir, was also kept busy in an entertaining match. He denied Igor Gluscevic just after the restart before being beaten by Sparta defender Petr Johana on the hour, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul on Jovcev.

Sionko header
Confusion at the other end led to Vardar retaking the lead in the 67th minute, Anyanviu taking advantage. Vardar pressed in search of the goal which would have put them ahead on aggregate but the fourth goal of the night was scored by Sionko, who headed in a Poborský cross eight minutes from time.

Sparta live on
Vardar dominated possession as time ticked down, yet could not find the goal which would have forced extra time and kept their dream of reaching the group stage alive - something which is now a reality for Sparta ahead of Thursday's draw.

Last updated: 27/08/03 10.59CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1711/match=73027/postmatch/report/index.html#sparta+vardar+challenge

Lineups

sparta praha

Sparta Praha

vardar

Vardar

29
BlažekJaromír Blažek (GK)
25
JovcevGogo Jovcev (GK)
8
PoborskýKarel Poborský (C)
Goal33
2
VeselinovskiDragan Veselinovski (C)
11
JežekPatrik Ježek
Substitution58
5
AnyanwuBlessing Anyanwu
Goal66
15
KováčRadoslav Kováč
7
GrozdanoskiVlatko Grozdanoski
Substitution63
16
HübschmanTomáš Hübschman
10
ZaharievskiSrdjan Zaharievski
17
JohanaPetr Johana
14
RistovskiDejan Ristovski
19
M. PetrášMartin Petráš
Yellow Card44
16
GeorgievskiSlavčo Georgievski
Goal31
20
NěmecJiří Němec
21
BrankovıćDejan Brankovıć
Yellow Card46
21
JunTomáš Jun
Substitution90
23
Da CostaRogerio Da Costa
Yellow Card69
26
ZbončákMartin Zbončák
Yellow Card26
24
WandeirWandeir
Substitution81
27
Igor GlušcevicIgor Glušcevic
Substitution69
26
BragaAguinaldo Braga

Substitutes

1
KoubaPetr Kouba (GK)
12
BasnarkovPetar Basnarkov (GK)
3
LabantVladimír Labant
8
TrajcevJovica Trajcev
4
PerglPavel Pergl
9
PetkovMario Petkov
Substitution63
5
FlachbartJan Flachbart
11
NačevskiDragan Načevski
9
KinclMarek Kincl
Substitution90
15
MiserdovskiZoran Miserdovski
Substitution81
10
MichalíkRastislav Michalík
Substitution58
18
SpasovskiDimitrar Spasovski
14
SionkoLibor Sionko
Substitution69
Goal85
22
MilevskiIgor Milevski

Coach

Jirí Kotrba (CZE) Zoran Stratev (MKD)

Referee

Stéphane Bre (FRA)

Assistant referees

Lionel Dagorne (FRA), Pascal Galibert (FRA)

Fourth official

Bruno Ruffray (FRA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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