Birkirkara were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League after losing 3-0 to Slovakian champions MŠK Žilina in the second leg of the second qualifying round at the Pod Dubnom Stadion on Wednesday. Žilina are therefore through to the third qualifying round where they will meet Bulgarian champions Litex Lovech.
The Stripes’ positive run in the competition therefore comes to an end following a 7-3 aggregate win over FC Santa Coloma of Andorra and a fine 1-0 win over MŠK Žilina in the first leg last week.
Birkirkara lacked Trevor Cilia and Andrew Decesare but welcomed back Rowen Muscat and Thomas Paris who missed the first leg.
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As expected, MŠK Žilina went out in search of goals as they needed a win with at least a two-goal difference in order to make sure of a place in the third qualifying round of the competition.
Jozef Pia?ek put Žilina ahead on 21 minutes but until thirteen minutes from time, the score was still 1-0. A result which would have forced extra-time. However Ivan Lietava doubled the score on 77 minutes to give the hosts the lead they needed to make it to the next stage.
At that point, Birkirkara had to score a goal to qualify on the away-goals rule. However the goal arrived on the other side of the pitch as Tomáš Oravec sealed the issue with a third goal two minutes in added time. A goal which finally killed the Stripes’ hopes of reaching the next stage.
ŽILINA: Martin Dúbravka, Stanislav Angelovi?, Patrik Mráz, Emil Rilke (71′ Pavol Polia?ek), Tomáš Majtán (59′ Štefan Zošák), Róbert Jež, Tomáš Oravec, Jozef Pia?ek, Ond?ej Šourek, Issiaka Bello (92′ ?ubomír Guldan), Ivan Lietava.
B’KARA: Ezequiel Lovizon, Patrick Borg, Branko Nisevi? (87′ Ryan Scicluna), Paul Fenech, Michael Galea, Alan Tabone (67′ Carl Pulo), Nikola Vukanac, Shaun Bajada, Joseph Zerafa, Angus Buhagiar, Rowen Muscat (75′ Thomas Paris).
Referee: Zsolt Szabo (HUN)
Assistant referees: Robert Kispal, Zsolt Varga (HUN)
Fourth official: Adam Nemeth (HUN)