Seydou Doumbia was pleased to see PFC CSKA Moskva's persistence pay off as his 72nd-minute goal sparked a late flurry, with the Army Men going on to beat AC Sparta Praha 3-0.
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Since joining PFC CSKA Moskva two months ago Seydou Doumbia has been in the shadow of his illustrious striking partner, Vágner Love, but the 22-year-old stole the limelight with two late goals against AC Sparta Praha on Thursday.
The home side were frustrated for long periods of the UEFA Europa League Group F fixture by a fine defensive display from the Czech outfit, but Doumbia said: "Our persistence paid off in the end. We didn't play well in the first half, but you have to accept that we were up against a tough team. We did everything we could to try and break them down, and thankfully we were able to do this in the second half."
Sparta looked like they might hold on for a point as anxiety began to creep into the home side. Yet a crucial goal from Doumbia 18 minutes from time put the home side in control and, as Mark González observed, "there was no way back for the visitors." The scorer of CSKA's second goal, a penalty, six minutes from time added: "We scored at a perfect time, as it had been very tough for us. But after the goal, things became easier and we were able to create more chances."
The final 3-0 scoreline was harsh on a Sparta side that dominated the early exchanges, and could have gone into half-time with at least a two-goal cushion, but as defender Erich Brabec noted: "Our failure to take our chances cost us dearly. We played very well in our first match against [US Città di] Palermo [winning 3-2], and today we also played very well up until 70 minutes, but CSKA took their chances."