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Jul 29, 2014

David Lafata hits hat-rick for Sparta

David Lafata's hat-trick carried Sparta Prague to a 4-2 win over Swedish champions Malmo in the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round on Tuesday.

Czech champions Sparta fell behind twice at home, but Lafata managed to equalise both times. Lafata already has eight Champions League goals this season, after tallying five in the first leg of the previous round against Levadia Tallinn.

After Emil Forsberg gave Malmo the lead, Lafata equalised in the 23rd minute. Isaac Kiese Thelin gave Malmo another lead four minutes later, only for Lafata to equalise shortly after halftime.

Radoslav Kovac gave Sparta the lead a minute later, and Lafata secured his hat-trick in the 70 minute.

In Hungary, Debrecen edged Belarusian champions BATE Borisov 1-0 on Ibrahima Sidibe's penalty in the 56th minute.

Slovakian champions Slovan Bratislava will enter their second leg with a slim advantage over Sheriff Tiraspol thanks to Karol Meszaros' winner in the 85th minute.

Mendes Cavalcante Ricardinho had equalised for the Moldovan champs 10 minutes earlier, after Igor Zofcak had scored the opener from the spot for Bratislava in the first half.

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