NK Maribor secured a place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after a 2-0 victory against HŠK Zrinjski in Slovenia.
Dare Vršič scored on the brink of half-time for the hosts with a free-kick. Agim Ibraimi then converted a 57th-minute penalty after Zrinjski goalkeeper Ratko Dujković was adjudged to have fouled Petar Stojanovič. Maribor continued to threaten Dujković's goal thereafter but had already done enough.
Zrinjski, though, could have taken the lead had Velibor Djurić found the net from ten metres out; Jasmin Handanovič thwarted his effort. As the second half came to an end the hosts started to counterattack at pace. Marcos Tavares was unlucky not to break the deadlock, but in the 45th minute Vršič did give his side the lead as his free-kick curled over the wall and nestled in the top corner.
Dujković made a number of fine saves but conceded a penalty for a foul on Stojanovič just before the hour. Ibraimi doubled the lead from the spot and Maribor looked comfortable for the rest of the game. Another counterattack nearly bore a third goal but Jean Philippe Mendy was denied by the impressive Zrinkski goalkeeper.
Maribor will now face Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC in the third qualifying round.
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