FC Sheriff had to settle for a goalless draw against Slavia Prague despite dominating long stretches of their third qualifying round home leg against the Czech champions.
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In a cagey game in Tiraspol, Sheriff had a goal disallowed in the first half while Slavia’s best opportunities came on the counterattack.
The hosts upped their efforts after the interval, but could not force a winner, Constantin Arbanas and Andrei Corneencov both coming closest with efforts that shook the frame of the goal.
Slavia were missing several important players for the trip to Moldova, including Deniss Romanovs, Vladimir Smicer, Josef Kaufman, Tomas Pekhart and Matej Krajcik.
Home coach Leonid Koutchouk, for his part, was able to welcome back Arbanas and Abdul Mamah and he saw his charges make a positive start, Florent Rouamba finding the back of the net only for his effort to be ruled offside.
Sheriff pushed even harder after the restart, Benjamin Balima creating a good chance for Rouamba, who could not beat Slavia goalkeeper Jan Hanus in a one-on-one.
With time ticking down, Arbanas struck the post from long range before Corneencov headed against the bar leaving Pavel Rehak’s visiting side evidently happier ahead of next week’s decider in the Czech Republic.