PEC Zwolle’s first European adventure has come to a swift end as they were knocked out of the Europa League after a 3-1 loss to Sparta Prague on Thursday.

  • By Michael Bell
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sparAfter a 1-1 draw in Netherlands last week, PEC Zwolle knew they needed to score at least one goal to have any chance of progressing, and within minutes of the start striker Tomas Necid came close to netting, with his effort well saved by David Bicik, while the Sparta keeper also made a smart stop from Jesper Drost.

PEC Zwolle’s chances then took a huge blow on nine minutes, when Ladislav Krejci broke through the Dutch side’s defence before slotting past Diederik Boer. Despite being second best for the rest of the first half, Sparta Prague added a second just before the break, as Borek Dockal smashed into the net from the edge of the box.

Jakub Brabec killed off PEC Zwolle’s hopes after an hour when he added a third, but after Mustafa Saymak was fouled in the box, Stef Nijland netted from the spot to at least give Ron Jans side a consolation goal.

PEC Zwolle join Twente, and Groningen in exiting the competition this season, but it’s been a great experience for the club. They can now turn their attention to the Eredivisie, where they will hope to continue their undefeated start against NAC on Sunday.

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