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Plzeň progress with Željezničar victory

FK Željezničar 1-2 FC Viktoria Plzeň (agg: 4-6)
First-half goals from Tomáš Wágner and Milan Petržela secured progress for the ten-man Czech champions in Sarajevo.

Željezničar (in blue) came up against determined opponents in Viktoria Plzeň
Željezničar (in blue) came up against determined opponents in Viktoria Plzeň ©Fedja Krvavac

FC Viktoria Plzeň took their place in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League with a hard-earned 2-1 victory at FK Željezničar courtesy of first-half strikes from Tomáš Wágner and Milan Petržela.

If those goals gave them a 2-0 lead on the night – and a 6-3 overall advantage – it was hardly plain sailing for the Czech title holders given they lost defender Václav Procházka to a straight red card after 20 minutes, following a foul on Tomislav Tomić. Nermin Jamak's goal on the stroke of half-time offered the home team a glimmer of hope but Plzeň dug in to clinch a third qualifying round tie against JK Nõmme Kalju.

In truth the evening could not have begun worse for Željezničar. Goalkeeper Adnan Hadžić's failure to deal with a cross from Radim Řezník teed up Wágner for a tap-in after just five minutes. Home coach Amar Osim then saw Benjamin Čolić limp off injured and even with the extra man advantage following Procházka's dismissal, the champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina fell further behind on the half-hour as Daniel Kolář played in Petržela to round Hadžić and score.

To their credit, Željezničar kept going and Jamak’s header from a Vernes Selimović centre reduced the deficit. They had Plzeň pinned inside their own half for much of the second period yet to little avail and when home skipper Eldin Adilović shot wide of the post from close range with five minutes left, the game was up.