NK Maribor 2-5 FC Rubin Kazan
Two late goals turned a narrow win into a rout as last season's quarter-finalists came up trumps against Maribor in Slovenia.
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FC Rubin Kazan swept to a comfortable UEFA Europa League Group D victory in Slovenia, though the scoreline was a little harsh on industrious NK Maribor.
Gökdeniz Karadeniz and Iván Marcano struck to put the visitors in front, but a splendid Martin Milec shot reduced the deficit before the break. A stylish Roman Eremenko finish restored the two-goal lead for Kurban Berdyev's side, yet the tension was ratcheted up for the closing minutes when another substitute, Nusmir Fajić, pounced on a loose ball to make it 3-2. However, José Rondón and Aleksandr Ryazantsev struck late to settle any fraying Rubin nerves.
Rubin went ahead with their first meaningful effort on goal on 23 minutes; Chris Mavinga pulled the ball in from the left, and on-rushing captain Gökdeniz took a touch before sweeping the ball in off the inside of Jasmin Handanovič's post. The goalkeeper was then left exposed from a Bebras Natcho corner, which bounced across the face of goal allowing the unmarked Marcano to steal in for an easy back-post tap-in.
Milec reduced the arrears in some style on 35 minutes, cutting in from the right to unleash a fizzing drive which whistled past Sergei Ryzhikov at his near post, and Tavares might have levelled when he raced onto a ball after the break, screwing his shot just wide. As it was, Rubin substitute Eremenko restored his side's two-goal advantage on 69 minutes, twisting on the edge of the box to deliver a low angled shot which rolled into the bottom right-hand corner of Handanovič's net.
Maribor were not finished, though, and Fajić scrambled the ball into the net within nine minutes of coming on after Ryzhikov could only paw Aleksander Rajčevič's header down to the Bosnian striker's feet. Any hopes of a comeback were nonetheless snuffed out when Rondón and Ryazantsev stole through on the break for two late goals.