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Maribor make their way past eight-man Željezničar

FK Željezničar 1-2 NK Maribor (agg: 2-6)
The Slovenian side sealed a commanding aggregate victory against their eight-man hosts to set up a tie with F91 Dudelange.

Nermin Jamak (left) and Maribor's Marcos Tavares vie for possession
Nermin Jamak (left) and Maribor's Marcos Tavares vie for possession ©Fedja Krvavac

NK Maribor will take on surprise contenders F91 Dudelange in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after rubber-stamping a comfortable aggregate victory against FK Željezničar.

The Slovenian title holders held a commanding 4-1 lead after an impressive home performance in the first leg and were soon in an even more comfortable position thanks to Agim Ibraimi's 20th-minute effort. Benjamin Čolić's 53rd-minute dismissal gave Željezničar a mountain to climb but they did at least pull one back before the hour through Josip Kvesić.

Their night soon took another turn for the worse, though, as Srdjan Stanić (61) and Muamer Svraka (64) were dismissed in quick succession. Amar Osim's side's misery was complete when Maribor captain Marcos Tavares earned his team victory on the night with four minutes remaining.

"It was a very tough game," said Maribor coach Darko Milanič. "It was harder than expected but they made it easier after they had players sent off. We are trying to qualify for the Champions League group stage and we have a great opportunity to do so."

Maribor now face the champions of Luxembourg, Dudelange, after their shock triumph over FC Salzburg.

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