NK Maribor have midfielder Damjan Bohar to thank for their narrow first-leg victory against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.
Maccabi had qualified in style for this tie by beating Andorra's FC Santa Coloma across two legs without conceding a goal. Unfortunately their clean sheet record came to a disappointing end when five minutes into added time a perfectly timed cross from Amir Derviševič from the left hand-side was headed home by Bohar to finally break the deadlock.
The only real chance of the first half fell to Maccabi midfielder Eran Zahavi who forced a great save from Jasmin Handanovič with just two minutes on the clock. Shortly after half-time Agim Ibraimi almost gave his side the lead only for his header to be deflected from close range.
A subdued contest gathered pace in the closing stages. Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo pulled off an impressive save when Sintayehu Sallalich tried his luck from distance. Miscommunication in the penalty area moments later almost gifted Maribor the chance to take the lead through second-half substitute Marcos Tavares. Luckily for Óscar García's men his effort was cleared off the line in a scramble in the box, and they made the most from their good fortune.
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