The penalty shoot-out of incredible drama was about to unfold as a sold-out Eden erupted in joy. Ivan Schranz hit the ball into the net in extra time to send Slavia’s players through Czestochowa in the Conference League group. After a 1-2 loss in the first match, the Praguers beat their Polish opponents 2-0 in the home rematch after extra time and look forward to Friday’s draw. They will join him in the first basket.
Slavia went through this year’s qualification despite third-placed opponents, avoiding the threat of an autumn without cups and playing in the group for the sixth time in a row on the European stage.
Next to him, Slovácko also entered the group. The development bonus is 2.94 million euros (approximately 72 million crowns). In the last season, Slavia reached the quarter-finals in the Conference League, that year’s final was hosted by Eden.
Coach Slavia Trpišovský made five changes to the starting line-up compared to the opening match in Poland. Unusually, he bet on a formation with three stoppers, and Masopust was one of them. The experienced Tecl got a chance at the attacking end after a hat trick in Sunday’s 7-0 league win over Pardubice.
Number one Kovačević is back in Raków’s goal after injury, on the other hand, Czech national defender Petrášek, who has not played a single minute this season, is still absent.
Despite an organized defense by the reigning Polish Cup winners, the Red and Whites struggled to create any chances early on. Raków had more chances in the first half. In the third minute after a corner signal, former player Karviné Rundič headed his shot, but he was on target.
Midway through the opening act, the home team waited for a bigger chance. After a combination in the 23rd minute, López got ahead of Mandouse, who first hit the Slavist goalkeeper with a tutu and hit the bar from the stoppage. Less than half an hour into the game, Gvilia stretched behind the goal and almost missed a good shot. The Slavists had no clear chances for the entire first half.
Even after switching sides, Raków and his two successors were the first to threaten. First, Gutkovskis narrowly missed an assist from Teke, then in the 57th minute, Wdowiak hit the side net with an empty net after a loop from Mandous. Moments before, coach Trpišovský made three substitutions and strengthened the attack with the fresh Lingra, Olayinka and Schranz.
The latter is involved in the leading purpose. In the 62nd minute, Ševčík moved the ball with a long pass on the right side, where Schranz tapped Usor and he fired a technical attempt at the back post at the goalkeeper. The 20-year-old Nigerian scored for the third time in the last four competitive matches and followed up on two goals from the match against Pardubice.
The people of Prague, who in the second half attacked in the direction of their “cauldron”, came to life and rose to speed. Moments later, Usor had another chance, but the rebound just hit the middle of the goal.
In contrast, Rundič barely hooked the cross from a free kick. Otherwise, at the end of regular time, they have more home games. In the 86th minute, substitute Oscar ran into the middle and Kovacevic hit his header. The Bosnian goalkeeper then pushed away Lingr’s attempt, and the double match reached extra time.
In it, Trpišovský sent a fresh Tiéhi on the pitch, and he could have paid for a goal after three minutes, but Kovačević pulled his cross into the corner. Then chances dwindled and it looked like the match was going to a penalty shootout. In the first minute of extra time, however, Olayinka crossed the box, and another substitute, Schranz, scored one of the most important goals of his career with his head.
By winning in the last seconds, the Prague team recalled the memorable 4:3 victory after extra time against Sevilla in the round of 16 of the Europa League in March 2019.
The Slavists confirmed that they are good at home in the cups, in Eden they lost only one of the last 11 duels in the European stage. Trpišovský’s men handled Polish opposition better than a year ago, when they lost to Legia Warsaw in the 4th preliminary round of the Europa League.
Rematch of the 4th preliminary round of the European Conference League:
Slavia Prague – Raków Czestochowa 2:0 (1:0, 0:0) after extra time
Goals: 62. Usr, 120.+1 Schranz. Referees: Pawson – Betts, Hussin (all English). ŽK: Ševčík, Oscar, Provod, Olayinka – Rundič, Arsenič, Tudor, Wdowiak, López. Spectators: 19,370 (sold out). First match: 1:2, Slavia advances.
Slavia: Mandous – Masopust (55. Lingr), Ousou, Santos – Douděra (56. Schranz), Ševčík (94. Tiéhi), Holeš, Traoré, D. Jurásek (80. Oscar) – Usor (76. Provod), Tecl (55. Olayinka). Instructor: Trpišovský.
Czestochowa: Kovacevich – Svarnas (112. Racovitan), Arsenič, Rundič – Tudor, Papanikolau (111. Berggren), Gvilia (90.+1 Czyz), Kun (96. Kočergin) – Nowak (46. Wdowiak), Musiolik (46 . Gutkovskis), López. Coach: Papszun.