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Brabec gives Sparta the edge

AC Sparta Praha 1-0 KKS Lech Poznań
Erich Brabec scored the only goal late on as the Czech champions eked out a first-leg advantage against their Polish counterparts.

Erich Brabec celebrates scoring Praha's winner against Lech
Erich Brabec celebrates scoring Praha's winner against Lech ©Vlastimil Vacek

Czech titleholders AC Sparta Praha will take a slender lead to Poland next week after Erich Brabec's late strike gave them the edge over KKS Lech Poznań in the first instalment of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.

Brabec struck with 12 minutes to play as Jozef Chovanec's side got the better of the Polish outfit, who reached this stage courtesy of a dramatic 9-8 victory on penalties over FC İnter Bakı. That resolve in overcoming the Azerbaijani side was again in evidence in the Czech capital in a tight contest in which both sides pushed for a goal in the early stages. The home side, though, finally found a way through with 14 minutes remaining when Libor Sionko crossed for Brabec to knock the ball in.