Slovakian title-holders MŠK Žilina will take on big-spending Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after a 1-1 draw against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC took them through 2-1 on aggregate.
Already a goal ahead from the first leg, Žilina looked sharp from the start in a match held in Budapest rather than Israel for security reasons. Žilina striker Luboš Cervenec forced a save from Maccabi goalkeeper Liran Strauber in the fourth minute, although at the other end Reuven Oved ensured the visiting custodian Ivan Trabalik had to be alert.
Cervenec then sent a close-range header wide from a Martin Durica cross, but in the 16th minute Žilina scored an away goal. Durica's free-kick was not cleared by the home defence and Dusan Sninsky pounced to put his side 2-0 up on aggregate.
Needing three goals to progress, Maccabi scored one of them within nine minutes when Ghanaian defender John Pantsil rose high to head in. Trabalik pulled off another save from Oved as Maccabi continued to attack, but Žilina held on until the break.
Their defence remained solid in the second half, as Maccabi threw more resources forward. Vladimír Staš almost scored for Žilina on the hour with a long-range effort, but five minutes later Oved was only denied by some desperate defending. Chilean striker Rodrigo Goldberg was introduced by Maccabi coach Nir Klinger to attempt a breakthrough and had a fierce shot saved by Trabalik, but most of the late action was at the other end.
First Zdeno Štrba went close on the counterattack, and then Pavel Putík's header with ten minutes left was cleared off the line. Žilina had done enough to progress, though, and now Chelsea - who have spent more than €50m this summer - stand in the way of a group stage berth for the Slovakians.