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Horváth helps Plzeň make light work of Kalju

FC Viktoria Plzeň 6-2 JK Nõmme Kalju (agg: 10-2)
Veteran midfielder Pavel Horváth scored a hat-trick as the Czech title holders confirmed their place in the play-off.

Plzeň players celebrate their victory against Kalju
Plzeň players celebrate their victory against Kalju ©Vlastimil Vacek

FC Viktoria Plzeň booked their place in the play-off stage of the UEFA Champions League with a 6-2 victory against JK Nõmme Kalju of Estonia, a result that sealed a convincing 10-2 aggregate scoreline.

Comfortable winners in the first leg, Plzeň fell behind to Damiano Quintieri's strike but responded in emphatic style, Pavel Horváth leading the charge with a hat-trick as the Viktoriáni raced into a 4-1 lead on the night. Quintieri doubled his personal tally to briefly reduce the deficit on 69 minutes but the Czech side went on to reach double figures in the tie thanks to late goals from Tomáš Hořava and Tomáš Wágner.

Kalju started brightly and were given a glimmer of hope with ten minutes played as Quintieri slotted past Matúš Kozáčik with some aplomb. Plzeň were in no mood to let Igor Prins' men gain a foothold, however, and were awarded a penalty when Daniel Kolář was felled in the penalty area. Horváth made no mistake from the spot.

With half-time approaching Horváth put Pavel Vrba's hosts ahead, rifling an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. The 38-year-old completed his first hat-trick in UEFA competition after the interval with another fine long-range strike, just minutes after Stanislav Tecl had pounced to score the home side's third.

Quintieri's opportunistic effort made it 4-2 but for the Estonian title holders, things would get worse still, Plzeň having the final word as Hořava and Wágner completed the rout at Štruncovy Sady Stadión.

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