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Defeat by Borac fails to halt Maccabi march

FK Borac Banja Luka 3-2 Maccabi Haifa FC (agg: 4-7)
The Israeli champions reached the third qualifying round with a comfortable aggregate victory despite defeat in Banja Luka.

Maccabi Haifa's Eyal Golasa can look forward to the third qualifying round
Maccabi Haifa's Eyal Golasa can look forward to the third qualifying round ©Getty Images

Maccabi Haifa FC can look forward to meeting NK Maribor despite losing to FK Borac Banja Luka in the deciding leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.

Although Vladimir Dvalishvili struck twice to cancel out Branislav Krunić's double for the home side, the Bosnian outfit restored a degree of local pride when Nemanja Vidaković scored the winner six minutes from time.

Dvalishvili might have got off the mark earlier but was denied by goalkeeper Asmir Avdukić on eight minutes. The striker was swiftly made to pay for his miss as Borac took the lead 60 seconds later, Krunić rising to head in Saša Kovačević's corner. Dvalishvili made no mistake midway through the first half, however, when he finished off Idan Vered's cross.

Undaunted by the setback Slobodan Starčević's men hit back ten minutes later, Krunić again appearing unmarked to pounce on Srdjan Grahovac's cut-back and give his side faint hope of a comeback. Like the hosts' No79, Dvalishvili would not settle for just one goal and as Borac made a poor attempt to play the offside trap, the Georgian international took full advantage.

There was still time for Draško Žarić to tee up Vidaković's winner, but six minutes was not long enough for the Bosnian titleholders to score the four goals they needed to complete an unlikely aggregate victory.