Two goals in the opening 19 minutes constructed the platform for NK Maribor to overcome FC WIT Georgia and earn a third qualifying round tie against FC Zürich.
After a goalless first contest in Tbilisi, the home side took just nine minutes to open the scoring in Slovenia with David Bunderla on target. Ten minutes later Marcos made it 2-0 but WIT restored their belief on the stroke of half-time through Vakhtang Kvaratskelia. The result was still in the balance until four minutes from time when Rene Mihelič confirmed the outcome.
Maribor were more aggressive from the start and their early high tempo was rewarded when captain Zoran Pavlovič laid on the opener for Bunderla. The Slovenian champions did not let up, though, and gave themselves breathing space when a firmly struck pass from Mihelič was chested down and volleyed in by Marcos.
Going behind motivated the Georgian titleholders to offer more offensively with Georgi Kakhelishvili particularly lively. Jaba Lipartia struck the bar from a difficult position in the 39th minute but the game was reinvigorated when Luka Razmadze crossed for Kvaratskelia to head in. WIT forced the hosts on to the back foot after the interval but they were undone by a late counterattack, Marcos's shot being saved by Grigol Bediashvili only for Mihelič to pounce.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.