Glasgow City 0-1 (1-3) Sparta Prague
Lucie Martinkova’s early strike put an end to Glasgow City’s Women’s Champions League hopes for another year as they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Sparta Prague.
Sparta finished the game with 10 players, but City could not capitalise with captain Leanne Ross’ late missed penalty compounding their misery at Broadwood.
Glasgow had suffered back-to-back defeats; losing the first leg in Prague 2-1 then receiving a severe body blow on Sunday with a 5-0 hammering by Rangers.
They were aiming to ensure it was not three-in-a-row, but were on the back foot early with Nepokojova putting a brilliant strike just over the bar for Sparta. However, minutes later the visitors were ahead.
City were punished for loose play by midfielder Nicole Robertson, who played Sparta striker Martinkova through one on one with goalkeeper Lee Alexander, and she fired home high into the goalkeeper’s net.
Losing an early goal just seven minutes into the match would not have been what Glasgow manager Scott Booth had envisaged on his 49th birthday.
It was almost 2-0 to the visitors on 10 minutes as a free-kick was whipped into the box superbly, but two Sparta players at the back post couldn’t get on the end of it.
There was a hurried sort of vibe about Glasgow’s play as they searched for an all-important equaliser. Sparta seemed happy to allow City the ball. Jo Love who connected well with the ball but her shot went through a bulk of bodies and just wide of the goal.
Shortly after, the home side were very lucky to not end up two behind after a glorious chance for Sparta from a corner. No City defenders looked able to deal with the cross, but fortunately for them the Sparta attacker just couldn’t get any connection on the ball.
Megan Foley shot straight at the goalkeeper, and then Tyler Toland thought she had scored a screamer from a distance only for the referee to blow for a foul in the build-up.
Into the second half and Love tried an ambitious effort which just went past the post.
On the hour mark, City threw on Maddie Fulton in attack for Tolan, and immediately she had a chance but couldn’t muster up enough power to beat the Sparta goalkeeper.
The visitors came agonisingly close on 63 minutes when attacker Martinkova rounded the Alexander, but Jenna Clark managed to clear the ball off the goal line. From the resultant corner the ball ended up in the net, but the referee had already blown for a foul with lots of shirt tugging in the box.
City’s hopes were raised when a red card was shown to Pavlina Nepokojova for a late challenge on Leanne Crichton with just five minutes left.
With time running out they were awarded a penalty three minutes later for hand ball in the box. Ross stepped up but her spot kick was saved.
Four minutes were added on and City threw the kitchen sink at Sparta, but still couldn’t find a goal for their efforts.
They now go into the winter break with no game until 17 January away to Celtic in the SWPL.
Glasgow City: Alexander (GK), Wyne, Lauder, Love, Toland, Clark, Ross ©, Colvill, Wade, Foley, Robertson; Clachers, Fulton, Crichton, Shine, Davidson, Wojcik
Sparta Prague: Sloupová (GK) Vyštejnová, Odehnalová, Bertholdová, Dlasková, Pochmanová, Sonntagová, Bužková, Ringelová, L. Martínková, Stárová; Pižlová - Dědinová, Kavalová, Radová, Ondrušová, Cvrčková, Koubová, Nepokojová, Chlastáková, Křivská, Šubrtová, Paulenová