IF Elfsborg and FC Shakhter Karagandy edged closer to a return to the UEFA Europa League group stage, with a Faroese first, Georgian shoot-out glory and a significant victory for Aberdeen FC among the highlights in the second qualifying round deciders.
• Aberdeen set up meeting with Real Sociedad
• Shoot-out successes for Chikhura, Elfsborg and St Johnstone
• Rosenborg escape Sligo's clutches
• Víkingur become first Faroese side to win successive UEFA ties
• See all the night's results and the full third qualifying round lineup
Mihret Topcagic, Ulan Konysbaev and substitute Roman Murtazayev scored the first, second and third goals of the night as Kazakhstan's Shakhter – one of a number of sides with group stage experience in action – finished off FK Atlantas to make their way to the next phase of the competition, but Elfsborg had a much more anxious time. After a 1-0 home leg defeat to İnter Bakı PİK, the return fixture in Azerbaijan got off to a bright start; their hosts had a player sent off after just four minutes and Sebastian Holmen levelled the tie with a goal on the stroke of half-time. However, İnter dug in thereafter, and took the game all the way through to penalties, where Holmen rescued them once more with the sudden death winner.
Penalties proved to be the undoing of Turkish side Bursaspor, who found Georgian contenders FC Chikhura Sachkhere even more resilient than İnter were against Elfsborg. After 210 minutes of football between the sides failed to produce a goal, Chikhura finally found their golden touch from the penalty spot, scoring all four of their efforts to beat their luckless guests 4-1 on spot-kicks.
Winners of the 1982/83 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup under Sir Alex Ferguson, Aberdeen FC enjoyed a less prestigious but none the less successful night as they beat FC Groningen 2-1 away, following a goalless first leg, to set up a meeting with Real Sociedad de Fútbol – UEFA Champions League contenders last season – in the third qualifying round.
There was relief for another side with plenty of UEFA Champions League form as Rosenborg atoned for a 2-1 home defeat last week, beating Sligo Rovers FC 3-1 in the Republic of Ireland, but there was no escape for their Norwegian rivals Tromsø IL, unwilling hosts to one of the biggest successes in Faroese football.
Ousting Latvian side FC Daugava Daugavpils in the first qualifying round was a notable achievement for Víkingur, but after holding Tromsø 0-0 at home last week, goals from Bárdur Hansen and Hallur Hansson earned them a 2-1 win against their ten-man hosts, a result which means they are the first Faroese side to get through two rounds of a UEFA club competition. HNK Rijeka – group stage contenders last season – will be their next opponents.
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