FC Slovan Liberec 1-1 Sevilla FC
Víctor Machín cancelled out Michael Rabušic's goal two minutes from time as Sevilla FC salvaged a draw against a Liberec side down to ten men.
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Substitute Víctor Machín struck two minutes from time as Group H leaders Sevilla FC salvaged a share of the UEFA Europa League spoils away to a FC Slovan Liberec side down to ten men.
The Czech hopefuls looked set for a famous win as they held onto a lead given to them by Michael Rabušic's crisp finish midway through the first half. It was resolute, backs-to-wall stuff from there on in and cracks began to appear when goalkeeper Přemysl Kovář was dismissed on 78 minutes. With time running out, Machín rounded his replacement, Lukáš Hroššo, to earn a draw that keeps the teams first and second in the section.
It was a disheartening end for Liberec but they can hold their heads high after having halted Sevilla's run of six straight wins in UEFA club competition. Jaroslav Šilhavý's team were organised from the off, retaining their shape, soaking up pressure and looking to attack on the break. It was just as their coach said it would be, but even he may not have foreseen the goal which broke the deadlock.
Serhiy Rybalka and David Pavelka were the instigators, combining to deliver the ball to Rabušic on the edge of the box. The striker did the rest, two touches enough as he fired in a low shot across Javi Varas. And so the Sevilla siege began. Kevin Gameiro's first touch let him down after being sent one on one with Kovář, but clear chances were at a premium until the closing stages.
Liberec intermittently threatened on the break too, Varas standing up well to Josef Šural after Nicolas Pareja had been caught in possession. Kovář's red card for halting Carlos Bacca's run tilted the scales in the visitors' favour, however. Gameiro, who had moments earlier threatened with a free-kick, picked out Machín and the midfielder rounded Hroššo before scoring from a narrow angle.