Sparta did not keep the lead and lost against Rapid
Sparta started a new season in the pre-rounds of the Champions League. The first match against SK Rapid Vienna was held in the Allianz Stadion in Austria. Sparta scored an opening goal already in the 3rd minute, but the home team turned the result in the second half and beat us 2-1.
Sparta has played seven games during the summer preparation. The coach, Pavel Vrba, was rotating the whole roster during these matches to find the best line-up. Vrba chose goalkeeper Florin Nita to start in the opening game of the season, while Dominik Holec had the same amount of played minutes in the pre-season as a Romanian goalkeeper. The best scorer with 5 scored goals from the summer preparation, Matěj Pulkrab, started the match only on the bench.
Sparta started the game in a great way. The captain Bořek Dočkal delivered an accurate long pass to LK37 who stayed alone in front of the goalkeeper Strebinger and easily scored an opening goal in the 3rd minute.
Rapid tried to respond quickly. Florin Nita had to be careful while he made the first save in the game after 6 minutes.
There was blood on LK37's face. He continued after a fast medical treatment.
Sparta could add another goal in the 11th minute. However, Ladislav Krejčí was not successful in a face-to-face situation against Strebinger. It was a great opportunity for Sparta to score the second goal in this game.
Maxmillian Ullman did not hit the ball as he expected in the 19th minute. Nevertheless, Nita had to make a save.
Eight minutes later, Robert Ljubicic checked if the Spartan's goalkeeper was attentive. Florin Nita had to hit the long shot for the corner.
Another huge chance in this game was on Sparta's side in the 37th minute. Vindheim sent a beautiful pass to Weisner who went through two defensive players up to the goalkeeper. Strebinger again showed his quality and made an important save while he hit the ball to the corner.
Rapid had a chance to score in the last minute of additional time in the first half. However, Knasmüllner's shot was missing the necessary power to be able to finish behind Nita's back. The score after the first half stayed 0-1 for Sparta.
Ljubicic kept the ball on the field and made an accurate long pass to Ercan Kara who tried to score with his heel in the 55th minute. The shot was aimed under the crossbar, but Spartan's goalkeeper was prepared.
Sparta created its first chance in the second half two minutes later when Ladislav Krejčí closely missed a shot from inside the penalty area.
Rapid's players had a lot of space in front of the penalty area in the 63rd minute. They passed the ball to each other up to Knasmüllner who sent a light but exact ball right under the crossbar. Florin Nita did not reach the ball and Rapid celebrated a nice goal.
The home team was more active in the second half. This activity led to their second goal in the game in the 71st minute. Rapid stole a ball from Sparta in the middle of the pitch and created a fast counterattack into the open defensive line. Robert Ljubicic passed a great long ball right on the running Knasmüllner's feet who easily sent Rapid into the lead 2-1.
Sparta could equal the game five minutes later, but Strebinger was ready and caught the ball on the second try.
Hložek had an interesting chance to score a header from the corner after another 2 minutes, but he could not direct the ball inside the target.
Rapid overnumbered Sparta in their defensive half in the 79th minute which led to a chance after Fountas's shot. Nita was in the right place and made an ordinary save.
The last minutes of the game did not bring any big chances and the game finished with the result 1-2. Sparta did not start the new season in the best way. Therefore, the second match against Rapid next week will be really difficult.