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Four-goal Maribor overpower Dudelange

NK Maribor 4-1 F91 Dudelange
Two goals from Dejan Mezga helped the Slovenian side cruise to victory in the first leg of their third qualifying round at the Stadion Ljudski vrt.

Dudelange and Maribor also met in qualifying last season
Dudelange and Maribor also met in qualifying last season ©Babaev David

NK Maribor proved too powerful for F91 Dudelange, firing four goals to give themselves an excellent chance of reaching the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Two free-kicks gave the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead, as Dejan Mezga and Marcos Tavares registered. Mezga struck again after the break, before Robert Berić completed the scoring for the hosts 13 minutes from time. Aurélien Joachim handed his side a lifeline with an added-time effort.

Although Maribor eased past Dudelange when these sides met in qualifying last season, Dudelange's impressive elimination of FC Salzburg made them a threat. Mezga settled the nerves on 13 minutes, when his free-kick somehow found a way in. Jasmin Handanovič was twice forced into action, but Tavares eventually doubled the hosts' lead from a second set piece, seven minutes from the interval.

Maribor then caught their opponents cold almost immediately after the match restarted, as Mezga hit his second of the night on 47 minutes, before Berić found the net from the edge of the box 30 minutes later.

Dudelange gave their best efforts, however, and though Joachim was unlucky to hit the woodwork on 84 minutes, he scored his seventh goal in five matches in added time to give Dudelange the faintest glimmer of hope ahead of next Wednesday's return in Luxembourg.