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Slovenia off the mark with slender Cyprus win

Published: Saturday 13 October 2012, 0.10CET
Slovenia 2-1 Cyprus
A goal in each half from Tim Matavž secured Slaviša Stojanovič's side, who had Boštjan Cesar sent off late on, their first points in Group E.
by Rok Šinkovc
Slovenia off the mark with slender Cyprus win
Valentinos Sielis (left) vies with Slovenia's Zlatko Dedič ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Saturday 13 October 2012, 0.10CET

Slovenia off the mark with slender Cyprus win

Slovenia 2-1 Cyprus
A goal in each half from Tim Matavž secured Slaviša Stojanovič's side, who had Boštjan Cesar sent off late on, their first points in Group E.

Slovenia registered their first points in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E by overcoming Cyprus thanks to a double from Tim Matavž.

The PSV Eindhoven striker's first international goals in 11 months had set Slaviša Stojanovič's team on course for what seemed a straightforward victory in Maribor. Stathis Aloneftis set nerves jangling when he replied in the 83rd minute, but the hosts held on, despite the late dismissal of defender Boštjan Cesar.

Matavž's opener, a shot on the turn, came seven minutes before half-time following a pass from Zlatko Dedić. He doubled his and Slovenia's tally just after the hour with a precise left-footed finish past Tasos Kissas.

Substitute Aloneftis halved Cyprus's arrears with a shot beyond Samir Handanovič, who then had to be alert to keep out Dimitris Christofi's powerful shot and prevent the visitors earning an unlikely point.

Cesar's 89th-minute red card − shown for a second bookable offence, a foul on George Efrem – rules him out of his side's encounter with Albania on Tuesday.

Last updated: 13/10/12 0.22CET

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