FK Vardar 3-0 F91 Dudelange (Aggregate 4-1)
F.Y.R. Macedonia champions FK Vardar had to wait before securing a home victory that gave them a place in the second qualifying round against Legia Warszawa.
Forward Dimitar Spasovski was ultimately the hero for the hosts in Skopje, scoring two goals in five second-half minutes, and providing the assist for the third. However, the game was finely balanced at the start after last week's 1-1 draw and this showed in the early stages.
Neither side seemed prepared to take the game by the scruff of the neck, although if any team looked likely to score it was Vardar. The home team picked up the play in the second half but were guilty of several missed chances.
While the match was goalless, Dudelange were always a threat and had their best chance of the match in the 64th minute. Gordon Braun found himself alone in front of the Vardar goal but his shot from ten metres failed to trouble Muarem Zekir.
Conscious of Dudelange's growing confidence, Vardar coach made two tactical changes, bringing on midfield player Slavco Georgijevski and Bulgarian international Marian Petkov. It immediately paid dividends and led directly to all three goals.
In the 71st minute, Georgijevski's fine pass allowed Spasovski to break the deadlock. Four minutes later, he rushed into the penalty area to make it two. The in-form striker then set up Petkov to seal the victory for Vardar, who won the Macedonian championship last season for the first time in six years.
"This match has shown the old problem of Vardar and this is inefficiency," Vardar coach Gjoko Hadzijevski said. "I am satisfied with the result, but I cannot explain why my players missed so many chances. We have to correct this before the match against Legia Warszawa in the second qualifying round because against them we will not be given so many chances to score."
"In the first half we played poorly and Vardar used the chance to apply pressure on our goal," Dudelange coach Carlo Weis said. "I am satisfied how my players played in the first 25 minutes of the second half, when we had a real chance to score."
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