All three Slovenian clubs out of UEFA Europa Conference League

Ljubljana – It was a devastating Thursday evening for Slovenian clubs in the UEFA Europa Conference League, the third-tier European club football competition, as Olimpija, Koper and Mura were all eliminated in the second qualifying round by their respective opponents. The national champions Maribor thus remain the only representative in the club competitions.

In the return leg at home, Olimpija Ljubljana were eliminated by Sepsi OSK from Romania after a penalty shoot-out (2:4), after the match in regulation time ended with the home team winning 2:0. The Romanians won the first leg at home with 3:1.

Koper were meanwhile eliminated by FC Vaduz from Liechtenstein. In yesterday’s return leg, the club from the Slovenian coast conceded to the home team in Vaduz in extra time, after taking a 1:0 lead in the regulation time.

As Koper won the first leg 1:0 at home, extra time was needed in the second leg, and Nigerian Franklin Sasere torpedoed Maribor in the 101st minute to win the game and send FC Vaduz to the third qualifying round against Turkey’s Konyaspor.

Mura from Murska Sobota made sure that it was an utter defeat for Slovenian clubs in the UEFA Europa Conference League, as they lost to St Patrick’s Athletic, the runner-up in the Irish premier league, after a penalty shoot-out with 5:6.

The first leg in Dublin ended with a goalless draw, and yesterday’s return leg ended in a 1:1 draw even after extra time, so the winner was decided with penalty kicks – Mura’s Kai Cipot missed while Joe Redmond scored for the Irish in the last round.

The perennial champions Maribor thus remain the only representative in the European club competitions even though they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League qualifying this week by the Moldovan champions FC Sheriff.

Maribor were relegated to the third qualifying round of the second-tier UEFA Europa League, where they will play HJK Helsinki on 4 and 11 August.