NK Maribor came from a goal behind and held on to record their first win in UEFA Europa League Group D, despite having Martin Milec sent off in the second half away against SV Zulte Waregem.
Davy de Fauw gave the hosts the lead, but Maribor drew level just nine minutes later through Matic Črnic, with Aleš Mertelj's superb volley putting the Slovenian club ahead before the break. Dejan Mezga made it 3-1 to start the second half before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Milec received a second booking, but Zulte Waregem could not take advantage.
Maribor had the leakiest defence in the group stage going into the game and fell behind after just 12 minutes. Thorgan Hazard fired in a swerving free-kick which Jasmin Handanovič fumbled into the path of captain De Fauw, who poked in for the Belgian club's first goal of the group stage.
Maribor were gifted a response soon after, however, when Steve Colpaert surrendered possession to Črnic on the edge of the penalty box. The 21-year-old promptly curled a fine first-time effort past Sammy Bossut – and an even better finish then gave Maribor the lead before the break, Mertelj's first-time volley from outside the area flying into the top corner.
They extended their lead four minutes after the interval when Mezga slotted in Tavares' low cross, but Ante Šimundža's troops suffered a huge setback when Milec saw red on 57 minutes. De Fauw shot over from close range in the 74th minute and the hosts continued to press, with Idrissa Sylla and Habib Habibou both threatening. Raphaël Cacérès hit the post in the final minute, yet Maribor survived to leapfrog their opponents.
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