Shirak advance despite Tre Penne's historic win

SP Tre Penne 1-0 FC Shirak (agg: 1-3)
The hosts' first European win was not enough to prevent the Armenian champions progressing.

Andrea Rossi, Daniele Pignieri and Alex Gasperoni celebrate Tre Penne's winner
Andrea Rossi, Daniele Pignieri and Alex Gasperoni celebrate Tre Penne's winner ©Filippo Pruccoli

FC Shirak were defeated in Serravalle, but their three-goal first-leg cushion proved too much of a gap to bridge for SP Tre Penne, who were unable to deny the Armenian champions a UEFA Champions League second qualifying round place.

Samuel Kyere put into his own net with just two minutes on the clock and Shirak substitute Davit Marikyan was sent off in added time for picking up two yellow cards. Yet while Tre Penne could celebrate a first ever success in UEFA competition, thanks in no small part to the efforts of goalkeeper Federico Valentini, it was Vardan Bichakhchyan's side who will advance to face FK Partizan.

After being outplayed last week, it appeared things had turned around rapidly for Marco Protti's hosts in San Marino when Ghanaian defender Kyere turned the ball past Artur Harutyunyan early on.

However, the visiting side responded immediately, hoping to snuff out any hope of an unlikely comeback. Although Daniele Pigniere was off target with a header, Ismaël Fofana, scorer of a hat-trick last week, had two clear chances at the other end but was denied each time by Valentini in the Tre Penne goal.

The pressure continued after the break, with Fofana foiled by Valentini once again and then by a superb Andrea Rossi intervention. With the clock ticking down, Dame Diop shot wastefully wide too and the hosts held on for that first European win.