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Qarabağ claim lead as Valletta pay penalty

Valletta FC 0-1 Qarabağ FK
A first-half free-kick from Chumbinho was enough to establish a first-leg lead for the Azerbaijani side in Malta.

Chumbinho of Qarabağ celebrates scoring the only goal of the game
Chumbinho of Qarabağ celebrates scoring the only goal of the game ©Domenic Aquilina

Qarabağ FK won 1-0 in Malta in their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie with Valletta FC to give them the advantage going into next week's second leg.

The only goal of the game came after 18 minutes when Chumbinho scored a free-kick. Things got worse for the home side late on as they had Ryan Camilleri sent off, before Qarabağ's Richard Almeida saw his penalty saved just a minute later.

Chumbinho was the hero for the visitors when, after Muarem Muarem won a free-kick, the Brazilian lifted the ball into the net.

Few clear-cut chances were created before the contest came alive in the final six minutes. Valletta were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes when Camilleri was shown a straight red card after a foul on Danilo Leandro Dias.

Sixty seconds later, Qarabağ had a great opportunity to double their lead as they were awarded a spot kick. However, Almeida failed to profit, his attempt being saved by Valletta goalkeeper Nicky Vella.

Qarabağ held on to retain the initiative with the return leg in Baku next Tuesday.

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