Slovenia stroll to victory in Andorra

Andorra 0-5 Slovenia
Gaber Dobrovoljc scored and Elvis Bratanovič struck twice as the visitors kept alive their slim hopes of finishing runners-up in Group 2.

Slovenia's Under-21 side celebrate a goal
Slovenia's Under-21 side celebrate a goal ©Silvia Casals

Slovenia kept alive their slim chance of finishing runners-up in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 with a 5-0 success away against ten-man Andorra.

Gaber Dobrovoljc gave Tomaž Kavčič's men the lead close to the half-hour, and the visitors added two more goals before the break courtesy of Elvis Bratanovič and Zan Majer. Bratanovič struck again shortly after the restart and moments later the situation worsened for Andorra when they lost Eric Lopes to a second yellow card. Enej Jelenič then capped a comfortable victory for Slovenia via a late penalty.

It had not always been plain sailing, however, with Andorra pressing well in the early stages and defending with aplomb. Goalkeeper Jordi Rodriguez was also proving a hard obstacle to overcome, but Slovenia went ahead on 27 minutes when Dobrovoljc turned in from a corner.

Having broken the deadlock, Slovenia then doubled their advantage following a mistake by defender Eric Rodriguez, whose misjudged pass inside his own area allowed Bratanovič to find the net. Majer subsequently made it 3-0 before half-time from another corner, and Bratanovič punished Andorra again when he headed in a cross from the ever-dangerous Denis Klinar on 53 minutes.

Reduced to ten players after Lopes saw red, bottom side Andorra managed to keep their opponents at bay until three minutes before the final whistle, Jelenič converting from the spot after Benjamin Verbič had been brought down by Eric Rodriguez.

The win lifted Slovenia within two points of second-placed Russia, although Russia have three fixtures remaining and Slovenia just one. The four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs along with the ten section winners.