PEC Zwolle’s first ever European tie ended in a respectable 1-1 draw with Czech giants Sparta Prague at the IJsseldelta Stadion.

  • By Michael Bell
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lukokiPEC Zwolle have had an excellent start to the season, and the KNVB Cup winners looked confident from the beginning, with winger Ryan Thomas causing the Sparta Prague defence problems early on.

Ron Jans side had the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Tomas Necid was fouled in the box on 20 minutes, and the referee pointed to the spot. However Maikel van der Werff’s poor spot kick was easily saved by Sparta Prague keeper David Bičík.

The miss did not deter PEC Zwolle and Mustafa Saymak came close with a long range effort, while at the other end Diederik Boer was largely untroubled, until Sparta Prague missed two good chances a minute before the break.

At half time PEC Zwolle brought in winger Jody Lukoki, and on 70 minutes the on loan Ajax star netted the clubs first ever European goal, sliding in from close range following Jesper Drost’s cross.

However Sparta Prague were to find an equaliser through Ladislav Krejci, who’s shot would take a wicked deflection before flying past Boer, and into the PEC Zwolle net.

The home side nearly found a winner in the last minute, but Necid sent a free header wide of the goal. PEC Zwolle will now head to the Czech Republic next week knowing they will have to score to have any chance of reaching the Europa League group stages.

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