Vilnius – Slovenian football champions Mura advanced to the play-off round of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League after beating Lithuanian champions Zalgiris 1:0 in the return leg in Vilnius on Thursday evening. In the last qualifying round, starting on 19 August, the club from Murska Sobota will play against Austria’s Sturm Graz.
Mura play in the UEFA Europa League qualifying after getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers by Bulgaria’s Ludogorets Razgrad at the end of July.
The Slovenian champions hosted Zalgiris one week ago to play out a goalless draw, and then beat the Lithuanians on the road last evening with an early goal by Žiga Kous (12th minute).
Mura, which last year won the Slovenian premier league for the first time, will now have a chance to make it to the second-tier UEFA Europa League as it hosts Sturm Graz next week in the first leg of the play-off round of qualifying.
The 3th placed team from the Austrian Bundesliga will then host Mura on 26 August in the second leg. Even if the Slovenian champions drop out of the UEFA Europa League, they have secured a spot in the third-tier UEFA Europa Conference League.
Mura are the last remaining Slovenian club in the European competitions, as Olimpija Ljubljana lost to Portugal’s Santa Clara in the 3rd round of qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League last evening.