Slovan move closer to group stage debut

FC Sheriff 0-0 ŠK Slovan Bratislava (agg: 1-2)
A red card blunted the home side's attacking threat allowing Slovan to move a step closer to a first group stage appearance.

Dušan Perniš kept a clean sheet against Sheriff as his Slovan team progressed
Dušan Perniš kept a clean sheet against Sheriff as his Slovan team progressed ©Boris Kharchenko

ŠK Slovan Bratislava secured a 0-0 draw against FC Sheriff  to inch closer to a first UEFA Champions League group stage appearance.

Dušan Perniš, the visitors' goalkeeper, kept Sheriff at bay in the second leg of this third qualifying round tie as both sides hit the post within three second-half minutes. That action came shortly after Sheriff's Elkin Blanco had received a 56th-minute red card for a second bookable offence, which left the hosts with too much to do to prevent František Straka's side entering the play-offs.

With just one goal in it after the first leg, it was a tense affair in Tiraspol and long periods of the first half saw little action. Sheriff's Brazilian midfielder Ricardinho forced a brilliant save from Perniš in the latter stages of the first half as the Moldovan champions pressed. However, Blanco, the Colombian midfielder, was dismissed 11 minutes into the second half to leave his team facing an uphill task to overturn their deficit.

The game sprang to life six minutes later as Ismael Isa almost defied his team's numerical disadvantage by thundering a drive against the post from 20 meters out. Moments later, a Slovan attack suffered the same fate as Seydouba Soumah dribbled into the area before firing against the woodwork.

Sheriff goalkeeper Matías Degra gave his side some encouragement with a fine save when one-on-one with Slovakia international striker Róbert Vittek but Slovan held their nerve to progress to Friday's play-off draw.