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Levadia restore pride with Sparta draw

FC Levadia Tallinn 1-1 AC Sparta Praha (agg: 1-8)
Ingemar Teever cancelled out Lukáš Mareček's opener, but Levadia's first-leg deficit was insurmountable and Sparta progressed as expected.

Ingemar Teever (left) scored the equaliser for Levadia
Ingemar Teever (left) scored the equaliser for Levadia ©Arno Saar

Emphatic 7-0 first-leg winners last week, AC Sparta Praha confirmed their expected presence in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round with a 1-1 draw against FC Levadia Tallinn.

Ingemar Teever cancelled out Lukáš Mareček's 38th-minute header to earn a respectable result for the Estonian team, but the damage had been done by David Lafata's stunning five-goal display in Prague seven days earlier. Sparta will face Malmö FF or FK Ventspils for a berth in the play-offs, with the first leg in the Czech capital.

Lafata was one of eight players from the side that had demolished Levadia who was left out in Tallinn. The weakened Sparta XI came under pressure from the off and Marek Štěch needed to make good saves from Vladislav Ivanov and Igor Subbotin inside the first five minutes.

Sparta looked a threat on the break and one Tiemoko Konate charge brought the opener against the run of play. His cross superbly picked out Mareček, who headed in from close range. Confidence lifted, Sparta were a side transformed after half-time and Martin Nešpor rattled the crossbar during a promising spell for the visitors.

Midway through the second period, however, it was Levadia's turn to upset momentum. Štěch turned over a Subbotin header and Teever's diving effort from Artjom Artjunin's ensuing corner salvaged some pride for Marko Kristal's men.

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