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SV Zulte Waregem's European campaign came to an end in a 2-0 defeat at home to impressive Russian visitors FC Rubin Kazan, who had already secured first place in Group D.
Occupying second spot before this contest, Zulte Waregem needed to deny Rubin a fourth win in the section to be certain of holding off Wigan Athletic FC and Maribor NK, but their hopes fizzled out late on. Bebras Natcho struck from the spot on 79 minutes and substitute José Rondón also punished the hosts to seal their exit, with Maribor dispatching Wigan to advance instead.
There were few chances of note in a tightly contested first half, in which the Russian side's Spanish defensive pairing of Iván Marcano and César Navas excelled. Rubin Kazan's Yann M'Vila fired wide from outside the penalty area and Natcho forced a low save from home goalkeeper Sammy Bossut after 22 minutes. As for the home side, they had to wait almost half an hour for a first shot on goal – an attempt from Frédéric Duplus that spun wide.
The second half started more brightly, with Rondón having a couple of early chances, before a curling long-range effort from Zulte Waregem's Junior Malanda on 65 minutes almost found the top corner – nearly a reprise of his dramatic strike at Wigan on matchday five. Malanda forced another save from Giedrius Arlauskis, but that was as good as it got for the hosts.
Indeed, Natcho broke Belgian hearts when he slotted a confident penalty low to Bossut's left after Duplus had fouled Sergei Kislyak, before burly Venezuelan Rondón put the nail in the coffin with a fine solo run and finish five minutes from the end.
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