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Sparta make Schalke wait for last-32 spot

Sparta Praha 1-1 Schalke
André Breitenreiter's side needed three points to progress but could only manage one, Johannes Geis's penalty cancelling out David Lafata's header.

Highlights: Sparta Praha 1-1 Schalke
Highlights: Sparta Praha 1-1 Schalke
  • Sparta's David Lafata opens scoring with sixth-minute header
  • Schalke hit back on 20 through Johannes Geis penalty 
  • Sparta end Schalke's run of three successive European away victories
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar still one strike short of 50 UEFA club competition goals
  • Next games: Schalke v APOEL, Sparta Praha v Asteras (26 November)

Sparta Praha hindered pace-setting Schalke's progress in UEFA Europa League Group K, holding the German side to a 1-1 draw at Stadion Letná.

Schalke had taken a sixth-minute lead when the teams drew 2-2 in Gelsenkirchen on matchday three, and there was a goal on six minutes in Prague too. Kehinde Fatai held off two challenges on the right flank before slipping a pass to Lukáš Mareček, whose cross invited David Lafata to get in front of Pierre Højbjerg and plant in a close-range header.

The Royal Blues, who started the game two points above their second-placed hosts at the group summit, were soon into their stride, restoring parity via Johannes Geis's penalty. They were awarded it despite posing little threat to Sparta in the process, with home defender Costa pushing Leon Goretzka on the right side of the box with the midfielder facing away from goal.

Drawing level lifted the Bundesliga side but neither team could prevent a paucity of chances, with Schalke failing to provide Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with the ammunition the striker needed to take his UEFA club competition tally to 50.

Goretzka, 20, looked the most likely to find a winner in the second period, hitting the top of the bar from just inside the area before powering a header that required the save of the night from David Bičík.