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Ludogorets squeeze out Partizan

FK Partizan 2-2 PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (agg: 2-2, Ludogorets win on away goals)
Partizan fought back from 2-0 down but a red card cost them.

Marcelinho celebrates scoring
Marcelinho celebrates scoring ©Meridian Match

There were two goals each for Petar Škuletić and Marcelinho and a red card for FK Partizan's Branislav Trajković in a thrilling first half, with PFC Ludogorets Razgrad eventually progressing to the UEFA Champions League play-offs on away goals.

Two goals in as many minutes for Marcelinho put the Bulgarian visitors in the ascendency before Partizan fought back to 2-2 through Škuletić's quick-fire double. An open first half concluded with Trajković being dismissed and Ludogorets held on to progress on away goals.

The game's opening goal came when Ludogorets' wing-back Júnior Caiçara linked up with countryman Marcelinho down the right, the latter finishing from close range. Marcelinho scored his second two minutes later when the same players combined in a similar fashion.

Four minutes later the hosts pulled a goal back when Darko Brašanac threaded a ball between defenders to find Škuletić, who finished from inside the area. Škuletić then scored his second of the game as he reacted first to a rebound off the post from a Trajković header.

With five minutes remaining until half-time, Trajković was shown a straight red which hindered his sides' hopes of earning the win which would take them through following the 0-0 result in the first leg.

The second half remained free-flowing despite the tension, with Virgil Misidjan striking the woodwork and Marcelinho twice threatening to complete his hat-trick. Away goals ultimately made the difference, Ludogorets advancing while Partizan now enter the UEFA Europa League at the play-off stage.

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