Metalurg’s Europa League dream continues as they eliminated Bosnian side Željezničar thanks to the away goals rule.
After the goalless draw last week in Skopje, Metalurg managed to stay undefeated in Sarajevo and advance to the 3rd qualifying round. The events didn’t look good for the Macedonians as Metalurg had to make a come back from 2:0. The early own goal by central defender Ninoslav Dodevski demoralized a bit the visitors, but still even with a 1:1 draw it was going to be Metalurg the one to advance. The 16th minute was playing when Željezničar had a free kick after which Dodevski headed the ball behind Efremov. This was the first conceded goal for Metalurg in the Europa League this summer as in the previous 3 matches Metalurg didn’t concede a goal. After the home lead both teams had several occasions to score but the keepers were good in doing their job.
The second half was way more interesting. Metalurg put everything on the attack and payed the price. Željezničar doubled the lead through a counter attack in the 54th minute when Nermin Jamak assisted to Rijad Bajić who scored from just out of the box. Only three minutes later Metalurg missed a great opportunity to get back in games. After a handball by Josip Kvesić, the referee awarded the visitors a penalty kick but Marko Simonovski failed missed the target. Still the Metallurgists managed to pull one back through Marjan Radeski in the 62nd minute with a great shot after a solo run. Since that moment they started playing even more attacking. The time was passing by and Željezničar was close to advancing, but veteran captain Mile Krstev tied the score in the 90th minute with a beautiful free kick goal sending Metalurg to the next round.
Metalurg proceeds to the 3rd qualifying round where will face the winner of the clash between Omonia from Cyprus and Budućnost from Montenegro. Omonia has a 2:0 lead as the second leg is scheduled for Tuesday in Podgorica. According to the draw, Metalurg will host the first leg on 31 July with the return leg to be played on 7 August. For the first time in the club’s history Metalurg has passed two rounds and irrelevant the outcome of the next round, this summer will be remembered as the most successful for the Metallurgists.
Asim Ferhatović Hase stadium in Sarajevo
Željezničar – Metalurg 2:2 (1:0) 2:2 agg.
Scorers: 16′ og Dodevski, 54′ Bajić – 62′ Radeski, 90′ Krstev
Željezničar: Antolović; Kvesić, Bogdanović, Kosorić, Čolić; Stanić (c), Tomić, Nuspahić (64′ Bučan); Sadiković (77′ Hasanović), Bajić (82′ Turković), Jamak.
Metalurg: Efremov; Gjorgievski, Dodevski (69′ Angelov), Leskaroski, Ristovski (53′ Naumoski); Stojanovski, Mitrev, Dalcheski, Radeski; Tanturovski (32′ Simonovski), Krstev (c).
Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Northern Ireland)
Yellow cards: Tomić, Kosorić, Jamak, Turković (Ž), Ristovski, Simonovski, Dodevski, Stojanovski, Naumoski (M)
Red cards: /
The missed penalty: