NK Zagreb 2-1 Zalaegerszegi TE (Aggregate 2-2, Zalaegerszeg win on away goals)
Flórián Úrban's late penalty was enough for ten-man Zalaegerszegi TE to snatch a victory on away goals against NK Zagreb and secure a plum third qualifying round meeting with Manchester United FC.
Advantage wiped out
The Hungarian side triumphed 1-0 in last week's home leg but that advantage was eradicated within two minutes tonight as Damir Milinovic headed Zagreb level on aggregate. The Croatian side moved ahead just before the half-hour when Kruno Lovrek, who was later to miss a golden opportunity, made it 2-0.
The second half was a nervous affair short on goalmouth action, but the tension heightened with ten minutes remaining when Zalaegerszeg defender Gergely Kocsardi was dismissed for pulling Lovrek back when he was running through on goal.
That was by no means the last of the drama, however, as Spanish referee Alfonso Pérez Burrull awarded Zalaegerszeg a spot-kick following an Ivan Milas foul. Úrban converted calmly to cue wild scenes on the visiting bench.
Zagreb midfield player Admir Hasancic could not comprehend defeat, saying: "This is a tragedy. I cannot understand why we have let them pull it back in the last 20 minutes." Coach Ivan Katalinic added: "We are obviously disappointed. There are too many inexperienced players in our team and they didn't stand their ground."
'All not lost'
Zalaegerszeg coach Peter Bozsik revealed that he had told his players at half-time, when they were facing elimination, that there was still hope. "We were shocked by the first goal, but I told my players at the interval that everything was not lost."
Beckham, Keane and Giggs
Midfield player Darko Ljubojevic, who will no doubt be relishing pitting himself against the likes of United trio David Beckham, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs, felt he and his Zalaegerszeg team-mates were fortunate to advance at Zagreb's expense. "They were by far the better team," he said. "We only improved in the second half and that was marginal."