By Craig Edwards
Sparta Praha take a one goal lead into next Wednesday’s second leg in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32.
Two first half goals for the Czech side secured the victory but City grabbed an important away goal ahead of the second leg thanks to a terrific finish from Sharon Wojcik.
City started brightly and an early free kick routine from Leanne Ross and Hayley Lauder caused the home side issues but there was no early breakthrough.
Sparta grew as the first half went on with Lee Alexander making a few saves while Martinkova headed over from inside the penalty area.
City threatened via free kicks being put into the box from midway inside the Sparta half but the visitors couldn’t make one of them count.
The opener came just after the half hour mark when a Sparta cross struck the top of the crossbar and bounced to Marketa Ringelova at the back post. Her strike was blocked by Love but eventually the home side scrambled the ball past Alexander and over the line with Martinkova claiming the goal.
City went in search of an equaliser and Nicole Robertson nearly connected to Colvill’s cross but the keeper did enough to stop the City striker from getting to the ball. However it was Sparta who doubled their lead just before the break thanks to an Anna Dlaskova strike from the edge of the box that found the top corner.
Scott Booth made a double change at half time and City started the second half brightly with Colvill pouncing on a mistake at the back and playing Wojcik but the Sparta defence cleared.
That was the warning for the hosts and City made them pay a few minutes later. Colvill received the ball on the edge of the box and laid it into the path of Wojcik who curled the ball into the far corner.
The home side went in search for a goal to restore the two goal lead with Chlastakova failing to control the ball when played through and Vystejnova’s acrobatic effort going wide of Alexander’s right hand post.
Alexander was called into action to deny Chlastakova after a ball across the face of goal found the Sparta striker.
City had chances aswell with Tyler Toland’s effort going over the crossbar.
The hosts had an excellent chance to make it three with a few minutes left after Pochmanova had rounded Alexander but Zaneta Wyne got back to make the block and win a free kick for City.
City had late appeals for a penalty after Jenna Clark was bundled over in the box but the referee blew for full time instead to signal half time in the tie.
The return leg takes place on Wednesday at Broadwood Stadium live on BBC Alba and before that, City welcome Rangers to Broadwood in the SWPL.
SPARTA PRAHA: Sloupova, Odehnalova, Bertholdova, Martinkova, Chlastakova (Nepokojova, 88), Pochmanova, Sonntagova, Vystejnova, Starova (Buzkova, 66), Ringelova (Ondrusova, 90+3), Dlaskova; Subs not used: Pizlova, Kotrcova, Dedinova, Koubova, Kavalova, Krivska, Cvrckova, Subortova
GLASGOW CITY: Alexander, Wyne, Lauder (Foley, 78), Love, Fulton (Toland, 46), Crichton, Clark, Wojcik, Ross, Colvill (Shine, 78), Robertson (Davidson, 46); Subs not used: Clachers, Wade