Recap of Macedonian players in UCL qualifying

All of the teams featuring Macedonian internationals, who were in action today, advanced to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

Agim Ibraimi led the way by scoring a goal for Maribor but his night ended on a bad note after an injury forced him to be substituted just before halftime.  Agim gave Maribor the 1:0 lead over Željezničar in the 20th minute but had to be substituted just before halftime after he was fouled by defender Semir Kerla.  Maribor’s website mentioned that Ibraimi was taken by an ambulance to a hospital with a leg injury.  Maribor eventually celebrated a 2:1 win and advanced to the next round where they will face F91 Dudelange, a team from Luxembourg who managed to eliminate Red Bull Salzburg.

Yani Urdinov and Ekranas celebrated a 2:1 home victory over Shamrock Rovers and advanced with that same aggregate score after the first leg finished in a goalless draw.  Urdinov played all 90 minutes at left back with Ekranas conceding the lone goal in stoppage time of the 90th minute when Shamrock converted a penalty.  However, that came a tad to late for the visitors and Ekranas advanced to the third qualifying round when they will square off against Belgian side Anderlecht.

Igor Mitreski and Neftçi will meet Darko Tasevski and Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the next round of the Champions League qualifiers.  Neftçi defeated Zestafoni 5:2 on aggregate while Ironi Kiryat Shmoma squeaked past Žilina to advance in the competition.

Finally, Partizan also reached the third qualifying round by dismantling Valletta 7:2 on aggregate but Aleksandar Lazevski and Stefan Ashkovski, the two Macedonian members of the club, did not feature in the two games.  Both players did not even make the bench in either game of the matchup.  Partizan will likely face AEL Limassol in the next round as the Cypriot club heads into its second leg tomorrow holding a 3:0 aggregate edge over Linfield from Northern Ireland.

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