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Siskovski shines as Rabotnicki hold HJK

FK Rabotnicki 0-0 HJK Helsinki
Home goalkeeper Damjan Siskovski shone in a stalemate that stretched Macedonian clubs' winless run in the competition to 17 matches.

Sebastian Sorsa (left) of HJK competes with Rabotnicki's Stephan Vujcic
Sebastian Sorsa (left) of HJK competes with Rabotnicki's Stephan Vujcic ©Telegraf.mk/Vlatko Perkovski

FK Rabotnicki held HJK Helsinki to a goalless draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.

Two cautious teams played out a fairly even match, though Rabotnicki's Damjan Siskovski was the goalkeeper most troubled in a draw which extended the winless run of Macedonian teams in Europe's most prestigious club competition to 17 matches.

It took more than half an hour for the first chance to fall the way of HJK, but it was an inviting opening. Robin Lod received an excellent pass from Nikolai Alho in the box, but his close-range shot was well saved by Rabotnicki keeper Siskovski.

Rabotnicki, whose 4-1 victory against Debreceni VSC on 2 August 2006 still stands as the last Macedonian win in this competition, fought back when Aleksandar Milusev's edge-of-the-area effort produced a fine save by the visiting goalkeeper Michael Tørnes.

The Finnish champions came close again on the cusp of half-time when Lod was again found by Alho, but his close-range header brought another excellent save by Siskovski. Chances were rare in a cagey second half, and Milovan Petroviić's off-target header was as good as it got for the home side. The visitors nearly snatched an away goal two minutes from time, but Macoumba Kandji was brilliantly denied by Siskovski.

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