FK Sarajevo coach Husref Musemić admitted even he was taken by surprise by his side's emphatic 6-0 win away to Malta's Marsaxlokk FC last night which has virtually guaranteed the Bosnia-Herzegovnian champions a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
It was Sarajevo's biggest win in European competition and has given Musemić the luxury of being able to turn his attention towards KRC Genk, who his team will almost certainly meet in the next round. "We came to win and we succeeded in doing that, but, to be honest, we didn't expect such a big triumph," Musemić said. "We can say we have already reached the second qualifying round here in Malta." Musemić, though, insists there will be no let up at the Olympic Stadium in Sarajevo next Tuesday. "In the return match we will play more seriously, without the mistakes we made here at the Ta' Qali Stadium. Now we expect to play against a much better team in the second round, Belgium's Genk."
Sarajevo celebrated their 60th anniversary with this win and also their 40th anniversary in European competition. As Yugoslav champions, Sarajevo represented the Balkan nation in the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup and won their first European tie 4-3 on aggregate against Cypriot side Olympiakos Nicosia FC, before being knocked out by Manchester United FC. Sarajevo drew the home leg 0-0, but lost 2-1 at Old Trafford as the English champions went on to lift the trophy for the first time.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina national side had only narrowly defeated a Malta team boasting many Marsaxlokk players in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier last month and Sarajevo had been expecting a difficult match, but goals from Admir Rašcic (two), Emir Obuća and Marko Maksimović put the result beyond doubt by half-time. Obuća added his second on 65 minutes before Malcolm Licari's own goal rounded out the scoring. The excellent form of new signings Raščić and Maksimović in particular will give Sarajevo added confidence as they begin to contemplate a trip to Belgium.
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