The Slovenia Times

Football: Maribor Crash Out of Champions League


After a fairytale run to the main draw of last year's Champions League, Maribor failed to clear the first hurdle in their renewed attempt to enter Europe's top club competition.

The purple and gold were knocked out despite securing a key 1-0 lead in their tie played in Maribor last week and scoring a crucial away goal today.

The Aleksander Rajčević goal in the 39th minute brought scores level at 1-1, after the home side took the lead through Baurzhan Dzholchiyev in the 12th.

But they surrendered the lead just before half time when Roger Canas scored.

While still headed for qualification on virtue of the away goal, a Patrick Twumasi goal in the 58th minute dashed the hopes of the Slovenian champions.

Even after going a man up in the 66th minute, when Canas was sent off, Maribor could not find a way through the Astana defence.

The loss means the club will not play in European club competition for the first time after four years. The second round qualifying exit also leaves it out of qualification for the Europa League.

Prior to making the main draw of the Champions League, Maribor spent three consecutive seasons playing in the Europa League.


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