Real Zaragoza 2-1 Aris Thessaloniki FC (agg: 2-2, Aris win on away goals) Former FC Barcelona player Francisco Peral's header proved decisive in Spain.
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Aris Thessaloniki FC made the most of their 1-0 win against Real Zaragoza in Greece a fortnight ago to go through to the UEFA Cup group stage on away goals.
Ricardo Oliveira levelled the first-round tie 20 minutes in but Francisco Peral's goal just past the hour mark left Zaragoza needing to score twice. Although Sergio García gave them the lead on the night it was not enough to save the Spanish side’s campaign.
It looked hopeful for Zaragoza when Oliveira met Diego Milito's cross to cancel out Avraam Papadopuolos's first-leg goal. However, the home side were frustrated in their efforts to move ahead in the tie before the break and at the other end Jonan's header fizzed just the wrong side of César Sánchez's goal.
Milito came agonisingly close to edging Zaragoza in front four minutes after the interval but his shot rebounded off the woodwork, and Aris made the most of their reprieve 13 minutes later as former FC Barcelona player Peral pounced on a rebound to claim an away goal. Sergio García turned in Andrés D'Alessandro's cross with 18 minutes left to put Zaragoza in sight of progress but another home goal was not forthcoming. Indeed, it was Marco Aurelio of Aris who went closest to scoring as his free-kick was saved by César.