A last-minute goal from Andrei Pereplyotkin gave Latvian side Skonto FC a moral victory but Macedonian First League champions FK Rabotnicki will progress to meet FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round courtesy of their emphatic first-leg win.
After the home team had frustrated Rabotnicki for much of the game, 20-year-old Russian midfielder Pereplyotkin struck a last-gasp winner to restore some pride for Skonto. It was only enough to improve the aggregate score to 6-1 but it did provide new English coach Paul Ashworth with a debut success.
The 35-year-old was appointed on Friday, succeeding Jurijs Andrejevs who resigned following the 6-0 defeat in Skopje last week. Goals from Igor Kralevski, Stojan Ignatov, Goran Maznov and Vanco Trajcev, as well as a second-half double from Ardijan Nuhiji, gave Rabotnicki an F.Y.R. Macedonia national record win in UEFA club competition.
Tonight's defeat could take some of the gloss off that result for coach Gjore Jovanovski but may also offer a well-timed wake-up call ahead of their second qualifying round tie. They have home advantage for the first leg against Lokomotiv Moskva next week, before travelling to Russia a week later.