By Stephen Bark
Glasgow City’s Champions League adventure for 2020-21 came to end after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Sparta Praha.
A single goal from Lucie Martínková early in the first half was enough to see the Czech side record a 1-0 win on the night at Broadwood Stadium.
A late change to the Sparta starting XI saw Pavlína Nepokojová replace Markéta Ringelová and she was nearly on the scoresheet early on after a flowing move from the away side but her shot flew over the bar.
Sparta extended their aggregate lead in the sixth minute when, Martínková on the edge of the box, guided the ball beyond Lee Alexander and into the corner of the goal.
City’s first real chance fell to Jenna Clark when Leanne Ross played the perfect cross for the defender from a freekick but Hana Sloupová got a hand to it to turn the ball wide.
On 27 minutes another Ross freekick broke kindly for Jo Love on the edge of the box but her effort was wide of the target.
Aoife Colvill was next to go close for City but her shot was deflected wide for corner.
City did have the ball in the net before half time when Tyler Toland produced a cracking finish from 25 yards but the referee had already blown her whistle for a foul in the build up.
Sparta stared the second half well and Kateřina Bužkova had an effort saved from the edge of the box.
Another Ross freekick again saw the ball break for Love on the edge of the box but again she couldn’t find the target.
Maddie Fulton replaced Toland just after the hour mark and she went close moments later with an effort from the left corner of the box.
Martínková then had a superb chance to make it 2-0 when, one-on-one with Alexander, she rounded the keeper but Clark made the intervention on the line to keep the defecit at one.
A foul on Lauder allowed Ross to dink the ball into the box from 35 yards and it broke kindly for Colvill coming in at the far post but she couldn’t steer it goalward.
With time running out, a Sparta break presented Aneta Pochmanová with the opportunity seal the tie but her tame effort was held by Alexander.
When Nepokojová was sent off with four minutes to play, City had their tails up and two minutes later they were awarded a penalty after a handball from Lucia Ondrušova. Up stepped Leanne Ross but a fantastic save from Sloupová denied the City captain.
Glasgow City: Alexander, Wyne, Lauder, Love, Toland (Fulton 61), Clark, Ross, Colvill, Wade (Davidson 67), Foley (Crichton 83), Robertson (Shine 46). Subs not used: Clachers, Wojcik.
Sparta Praha: Sloupová, Odehnalová, Bertholdová, Martínková, Pochmanová (Kavalová 90+3), Sonntágová, Vyštejnová, Stárová (Křivská 77), Nepokojová, Bužkova (Ondrušova 67), Dlasková. Subs not used: Pižlová, Dědinová, Chlastáková, Radová, Koubová, Paulenová, Crvčková, Šubrtová.