Sparta defeated Pilsen 2:1 with a goal from the penalty spot in the 14th minute of regulation

Sparta defeated Pilsen 2:1 with a goal from the penalty spot in the 14th minute of regulation

Sparta beat Pilsen 2:1 with a goal from the penalty in the 14th minute

Match of the 29th round of the first football league: Sparta Prague – Viktoria Plzeň, April 26, 2023, Prague. Jan Kuchta (left) and Ladislav Krejčí from Sparta celebrate the goal.

Prague – In the 29th round of the first league, the players of Sparta Prague defeated the defending champions Pilsen 2:1 with a goal from the penalty in the 14th minute of regulation time. Letenští are behind the leading city rival Slavia in the standings by a score a round before the end of the regular season.

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Rafia Durosinmi sent Viktoria into the lead after half an hour of play, Jan Kuchta equalized for the home team in the first half. The match was headed for a draw, but in the final setting, visiting captain Hejda stopped Kucht's shot with his hand in the penalty area and was sent off after the second yellow card. Subsequently, substitute home striker Martin Minčev also received a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct. Captain Ladislav Krejčí Jr. converted the penalty kick.

Sparta are the only team not to have lost in the league this spring, and since the 0:4 defeat at Slavia in October, they have not found a winner in the last 19 competitive matches. Third place Viktoria did not win away in the league for the fifth time in a row and they lose nine points to Slavia and Sparta.

There were several changes in the lineups of both teams. Stopper Panák and midfielder Laci started for Sparta, replacing Vitík and Sadílek. After a one-game absence, striker Čvančara returned. Vlkanova and Vydra remained on the visitors' bench, Chorý and Durosinmi jumped into the attack, and Kaša, surprisingly, at right back. Already in the seventh minute, the injured midfielder Bucha was replaced by Květ.

In the 11th minute, the home team created their first chance, but Kuchta headed just wide from a turn in the box. On the opposite side, captain Hejda finished from close range into the side netting. Around the 23rd minute, Letenští pushed Viktoria, but Kairinen couldn't get to the ball in the penalty area and Haraslín fired wide of the three posts. Plzeň also threatened, Chorý made his way into the goal after Květ's pass between two Spartans, but goalkeeper Kovář pulled his attempt out for a corner.

After half an hour of play, Karabec went on the pitch instead of the injured Čvančara. The West Bohemians opened the scoring shortly after. Durosinmi succeeded in the duel with Sörensen and opened the scoring with a successful shot at the back post. The Nigerian forward scored his first league goal in the Plzeň jersey, having scored his last goal in the Czech top flight last year on April 20, when he was still playing for Karvina.

In the 39th minute, Krejčí equalized with his head from Wiesner's cross. Referee Orel, after communicating with the video referee Petřík and watching the replays, called off the goal due to Krejčí's foul.

In the third minute of the opening act, the people of Prague got a chance. Haraslín's crossed cross was returned in front of the goal by Wiesner, Laci's header was saved by goalkeeper Staněk, who will celebrate his 27th birthday the day after the match, but it was not enough for Kucht's finish. With his twelfth hit in the league season, the national team striker equaled Čvančar's best team scorer so far.

After changing sides in the 51st minute, the visitors created a big jam in the small area, but Durosinmi's header was cleared by Kovář and eventually the home goalkeeper was whistled for a foul. In the 65th minute, home midfielder Zelený headed over from a corner kick.

The match did not offer any major opportunities for a long time after that and it seemed that it would reach a tie. However, Sparta won a penalty kick in the set-up. Krejčí kept his nerve and scored the win for Sparta, even though Staněk caught the direction of his shot. Sparta's captain scored a goal in the fifth round in a row and the eleventh overall in the season of the top league, despite playing only 14 duels.

Letenště beat Viktoria for the second time in the year of the top league and have not lost 14 games in a row at home in the league.< /p>

Voices after the match:

Brian Priske (Sparta coach):“In the first 20 minutes, we didn't manage to win battles and collect balls. But that was due to the quality of Pilsen and its offensive players. I'm proud of the players that they didn't deviate from our plan, the way we want to play. We dominated the whole second half. I don't think it would be the salvation of the season. We still have six rounds to go, even a draw would keep us in the game. Of course, it was a very important goal and an important victory in the end. Also by the fact that we created a lead over Pilsen. In most of the controversial situations, I still I didn't see it. I saw the goal of Ládi Krejčí that was disallowed. I will say that there were many moments in the match that were 50-50. I felt that in many of them the verdict went against us. But we have to respect the referee, he that's their job. You don't have to agree with everything, but that's what football is about. Czech football is amazing. The last two home games with Slavia and Pilsen were amazing especially for the fans in the stadium, but I hope for those on TV as well. We enjoyed ourselves amazing emotions. The players fought, ran, did everything to win.”

Michal Bílek (coach of Pilsen):“We are very sorry. We went into the match thinking that we didn't want to let Sparta play because they have a good passing game. With our activity, we didn't let Sparta into the game, it paid off for us and we scored a goal. It's a shame that we conceded at the end of the first half goal. I regret the chance at the beginning of the second half when the referee whistled us for a foul in the box. I haven't seen it yet, according to the reports I got, it was a very strict decision. Sparta logically pressed in the second half, they knew they had to win, if he wants to think about the title. We stuck to the way the game was played. To whistle a penalty like that in the last minute of regulation is very strict. What is the player supposed to do with his hand? He has it on his body. The referee decides to decide such an important match with a questionable penalty save when even the people on TV or the experts sitting there can't decide… We didn't like the decision, we're very sorry. My boys deserved more. We're out of the title fight, we have to confirm third place as soon as possible.”

< p>Sparta Prague – Viktoria Plzeň 2:1 (1:1)

Goals: 45.+3 Kuchta, 90.+14 Ladislav Krejčí II from pen. – 30. Durosinmi. Referee: Orel – Kubr, Slavíček – Petřík (video). ŽK: Ladislav Krejčí II, Zelený – Hejda, Kliment, Kaša, Staněk, Jemelka. ČK: 90.+9 Minčev – 90.+8 Hejda. Spectators: 17,668.

Sparta: Kovář – Sörensen (58. Vitík), Panák, Ladislav Krejčí II – Wiesner, Kairinen (80. Sadílek), Laci, Zelený – Čvančara (29. Karabec), Haraslín ( 80. Minčev) – Kitchen. Coach: Priske.

Pilsen: Staněk – Kaša, Hejda, Jemelka – Holík, Kalvach, Bucha (7. Květ), Sýkora – Durosinmi (65. Kliment), Mosquera (81. Vydra) – Chorý. Coach: Bílek.