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Wilfried holds nerve in action-packed finale

CFR 1907 Cluj 2-3 AC Sparta Praha
Bony Wilfried struck a 95th-minute winner moments after the nine-man home side looked to have earned the unlikeliest of draws.

Jan Holenda (left) set Sparta on course with two early goals
Jan Holenda (left) set Sparta on course with two early goals ©Getty Images

Bony Wilfried scored a dramatic 95th-minute winner as AC Sparta Praha went through every emotion in added time, from the devastation of conceding an equaliser against nine-man CFR 1907 Cluj to the elation of a tentative step towards the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. They are now second in Group K on seven points, one behind leaders PSV Eindhoven.

Late drama
Sparta looked to be coasting to victory when, 2-1 up, the Romanian hosts were reduced to nine men with two minutes remaining after Bogdan Mara was shown a second yellow card. It was only the start of the drama. A minute into added time substitute Sebastián Dubarbier struck the unlikeliest of equalisers and when Nuno Claro pushed Martin Zeman's effort on to the upright on the counterattack the game seemed up for Sparta. Wilfried had other ideas, as he sprang the offside trap and rounded the keeper before side-footing in.

Bright start
The match had started apace too, with Jan Holenda wasting no time in vindicating Jozef Chovanec's decision to play him ahead of Václav Kadlec. He needed little invitation as a deft sixth-minute chip left the home defence static and the 24-year-old coolly slipped the ball under the advancing Nuno Claro. It got worse before it got better for the hosts as seven minutes later right-back Ondřej Kušnír advanced on the overlap and his cross presented Holenda with the simplest of tap-ins.

Traoré hope
The home crowd fell silent, but rediscovered their voice midway through the half as Lacina Traoré held off Tomáš Řepka and guided the ball in following Nei's unchallenged flick-on. The defending was hardly draconian, but the holes that had lain gaping for the opening half-hour were duly plugged and CFR hopes were slowly ground down. Starved of chances, Gabriel Mureşan was dismissed for a second booking on 64 minutes and when Mara followed suit the Romanian hosts seemed destined for the foot of Group K. They were, but there was plenty of drama first.