Although an Aleksandr Samedov goal gave FC Spartak Moskva victory on the night, his strike was not sufficient to eliminate RCD Mallorca as the Spanish team progressed to the UEFA Cup fourth round with a 3-1 aggregate success.
Mallorca's 3-0 win in Moscow a week ago ensured the match was played in front of a sparse crowd at the Son Moix stadium, but this did not prevent the home side from starting brightly, with Domingo Nagore Arbizu hitting the crossbar from close range on three minutes.
Spartak found their feet during the middle of the first half, and Maxym Kalinichenko could have opened the scoring. However, they had to wait until a minute before half-time to break the deadlock after Serbian striker Mihailo Pjanovic neatly set up Samedov. Finding himself one-on-one with Mallorca goalkeeper Miki Garro, the young midfield player did not fail.
Chances at both ends
The second half was an even affair, with each side creating two chances. First, on 66 minutes, Danijel Hrman's free-kick found Yuri Kovtun in front of goal, but the Spartak captain could not convert a header. Then, on 78 minutes, Spartak and Georgian international goalkeeper Georgi Lomaia had to show all his skill to deny Jesús Perera, who sneaked through completely unmarked.
Nagore then missed his second chance of the night before Hrman's rising shot hit the bar when he really should have made it 2-0 to Spartak. In the end, though, they could not get the goals they needed and it was the side from the Primera División who ensured their name will be in Thursday's fourth-round draw.
"I think that this is a fair result for our side, especially given that it was so hard for us psychologically after the first leg", said Nevio Scala, the Spartak coach. "Mallorca had their chances, but we also could have scored more."
The most important thing for us was to advance to the next round, and we did it," said Mallorca coach Luis Aragones. "Although after thier goal we got so nervous that I was under the impression we lost 3-0 in the first leg, not Spartak."
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