The Slovenia Times

Football: Schalke Too Strong for Maribor


Meyer capitalised on Schalke's pressure early in the second half as he latched on a rebound following a save by Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanović to slot home into a virtually empty net.

The goal capped Schalke's dominance in possession, which they failed to turn into a clear advantage in goalscoring opportunities for the first half of the match.

Indeed, Maribor had more shots on goal in the first half, despite possessing the ball only around 40% of the time.

Needing a win to progress to the second-tier Europa League, Maribor pressed ahead in search of an equaliser in the final 25 minutes, but struggled with their closing and never truly threatened their opponent's goal.

It was a disappointing end to an otherwise over-achieving season for a club that boasts only a fraction of the budget of the big European names taking part in the Champions League.

After an improbable run to the Champions League group stage in August and September, Maribor managed three ties in six matches, including a 1-1 effort against group G winners Chelsea in early November.

It took a point from the match against Schalke in Gelsenkierchen and also played out a 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon in Maribor in the group stage opener.

Schalke meanwhile moved into second place in the group and secured advancement to the top-16 after Chelsea beat Sporting at home on Wednesday.


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