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WIT nullify Maribor threat

Published: Wednesday 15 July 2009, 19.56CET
FC WIT Georgia 0-0 NK Maribor
The home side held on to a goalless draw against the Slovenian champions despite being reduced to ten men with seven minutes to go.
by Vakhtang Bzikadze
from Tbilisi
WIT nullify Maribor threat
Jaba Lipartia (right) could not prise a goal for WIT
Published: Wednesday 15 July 2009, 19.56CET

WIT nullify Maribor threat

FC WIT Georgia 0-0 NK Maribor
The home side held on to a goalless draw against the Slovenian champions despite being reduced to ten men with seven minutes to go.

FC WIT Georgia held on to a 0-0 draw against Slovenian champions NK Maribor in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie despite being reduced to ten men with seven minutes to go.

Open spectacle
The game opened up as both teams tried their best to score but neither could make a breakthrough. Following some half-chances for both sides in the first period, Maribor carved out a great scoring opportunity ten minutes after the restart when Dragan Jelič raced clear only for Grigol Bediashvili to save bravely at his feet. A swift counterattack followed and visiting goalkeeper Marko Ranilovič had to parry a vicious shot from Irakli Klimiashvili. The WIT striker was then dismissed for a second booking, however, and Maribor almost snatched victory when Zoran Pavlovic hit the post.

Maribor confident
"WIT played with great motivation, but we looked very able at the back so the score is logical," said Maribor coach Darko Milanič. "We could have won but did not take our chances in the first half. It will not be easy for us in the return match, but I consider our chances a bit higher than theirs." His opposite number, Nestor Mumladze, said: "It was a very tough game for us. We had some chances to open the scoring before the break but did not convert them. We will fight until the very end in the second leg and I hope it will be enough for us to qualify."

Last updated: 16/07/09 1.09CET

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