Malmö FF played out a goalless draw with FK Ventspils in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second round qualifier.
In a game of very few chances, Ventspils came closest to securing a second-leg advantage, but ultimately forward Ahmed Abdultaofik was left to rue striking the frame of the goal when clean through early in the second half.
Malmö's Markus Rosenberg had the best opportunity of a tight opening 45 minutes, yet his header could not beat an alert Maksims Uvarenko in the Ventspils goal. Just 60 seconds into the second period, Ventspils came within a whisker of punishing that miss when Abdultaofik was presented with the clearest chance of the match. The Nigerian was played through on goal, but with only Malmö keeper Robin Olsen to beat, he fired against the post.
The Swedish side responded with their standout opportunity when Emil Forsberg – a menace throughout – picked out Magnus Eriksson. The midfielder had plenty of space just inside the penalty area but sent his shot wide.
With no away goals scored, Malmö would need a score draw in the second leg in Latvia next Wednesday to reach the third qualifying round.