By Aleksandrs Vasiljevs at the Daugava stadium
Latvian side FHK Liepajas Metalurgs held their nerve to oust Swedish second-flight side Östers IF on away goals and enter tomorrow's first round draw.
Fair Play entrants Öster knew they needed to score tonight after a 2-2 first-leg draw a fortnight ago, but the home side began strongly and on two minutes striker Aleksandr Katasonov broke into the area and shot only just wide. However, Metalurgs could not sustain their early pressure and Öster went close on eleven minutes only for the home defence and goalkeeper Viktors Spole to hold firm.
On 29 minutes, though, Öster moved ahead. Rär Cederquist, who scored twice in their home leg, was the man on target again. The lead was nearly doubled before the break but Peter Wibrån could not find the target.
Home side level
They were made to pay early in the second half as Edijs Danilovs broke away from his markers and shot past visiting goalkeeper Claes Green. A minute prior to the hour mark, Cederquist nearly grabbed a vital second away goal but he missed after pouncing on a Spole fumble.
Metalurgs hold on
Katasonov then also went close but gradually Öster began to press hard to save their UEFA Cup participation. Spole had to be on top form, notably denying Cederquist, as his side held on to go through and complete a great week that began with a victory in their top-of-the-table Latvian First Division match with Skonto FC.