Coming into the key derby against Sparta, the Red-Whites had to prepare without as many as 9 players injured, ill or suspended. Thus, Jindřich Trpišovský came up with a very young line-up with 9 players born in 2000 or later, from which 3 were included in the starting eleven. Youngsters Mikuláš Konečný and Marek Naskos, who were placed on the bench, deserve a special mention, as they were born in 2006, respectively in 2007.
Due to recent poor away form, Slavia dropped down in the league table to the 2nd place, and as they were replaced by the Prague rival, the main goal before the match was clear as a day – return to the table top.
With this on their minds, the Red-Whites were the first to create a goal-scoring opportunity. In the 10th minute, a rapid counter-attack on the right flank resulted into a double save by Sparta’s Kovář as Václav Jurečka and David Pech tested him with dangerous efforts from inside of the box.
Despite Sparta having superiority in ball possession in the first half, they failed to create any serious chance that would cause any danger to Ondřej Kolář. However, in the 35th minute due to the miscommunication of Slavia defence, a long ball dropped right in front of Kuchta, who found himself in great position. Fortunately for Slavia, Sparta striker scuffed the ball and aimed his shot wide.
Then came the 40th minute and with it the first reason for celebration for the loud stadium corner of Slavia fans. David Pech launched a fast counter with a quick move from the center and unabled Václav Jurečka to continue on the right flank. Jurečka found some space to unleash a precise cross and found Ivan Schranz on the far post – ready to put one into the back of the net – 1:0 for Slavia!
At the break, Jindřich Trpišovský was forced to make an injury-related substitution, Matěj Jurásek replaced David Pech. Slavia started the second half as well as finished with the first one, with a goal! In the 54th minute, Lukáš Masopust burst into the box from the right side, picked out Matěj Jurásek, from who the ball bounced off straight into the path of Václav Jurečka, who didn’t hesitate and slot Slavia’s second – 2:0!
However, it didn’t take long and the hosts brought themselves back into the game. In the 59th minute, Haraslín was taken down in the box and referee pointed to the spot. Ondřej Kolář nearly succeeded against Krejčí as the keeper touch the ball, but the generated shot power was enough – 2:1.
Despite taking the two goal lead early in the second half, the score-line was levelled very soon on. In the 71th minute, Čvančara found himself some space to test Ondřej Kolář from close range, Slavia keeper only diverted the ball into the post, from which it bounced to Jaroslav Zelený, who could’t miss – 2:2.
But Slavia didn’t give in, continued pushing the opponent and were rewarded with another opportunities to score. Petr Hronek had a glorious one in the 85th minute from close range, but Kovář countered with an excellent save. However, the Red-Whites didn’t have to think about the missed opportunity for long. Lukáš Masopust took up the corner and found Igoh Ogbu, who gave Slavia back the lead with a thunderbolt header into the corner – 3:2 to Slavia!
Unfortunately, with only moments from a very valuable victory, a heartbreak arrived. In the extra-time, Sparta created one more chance with Hojer bursting into the box from the left side and cutting the ball in front of the goal. In the attempt to clear the ball, Aiham Ousou mispositioned his feet and put the ball into his own net – 3:3.
Derby No. 305 had it all, ups and downs, celebration and heartbreak. Looking at the time of the last goal, the result is a tough one to take for Slavia.
Kovář – Vitík, Sørensen, Krejčí – Wiesner, Kairinen, Sadílek (81. Laci), Zelený (76. Højer) – Čvančara, Kuchta (81. Mabil), Haraslín (76. Minchev)
Kolář – Ousou, Ogbu (86. Kričfaluši) – Masopust, Provod (70. Traoré), Oscar, Schranz (83. Hronek) – Pech(46. M. Jurásek), van Buren, Jurečka (83. Tecl)