Radnicki Niš moved an important step towards securing a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League as they registered a comfortable 4-0 win in the first leg of the first qualifying round at the Stadion Čair in Nis on Thursday.
Gzira coach Darren Abdilla was forced to make a change due to the unavailability of Andrew Cohen, replacing him with Juan Corbolan while Jorginho was preferred to Emmanuel Okoye.
As expected, the hosts were clearly a better side right from the start, taking the lead through Radovan Pankov on the 14th minute. Eight minutes in the second half, Nermin Haskić doubled the score and two minutes later, substitute Marko Mrkić added another. Nermin Haskić scored a fourth and final goal five minutes from time.
The return leg will be played at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday 19. The winner will then face Ferencváros of Hungary or Maccabi Tel-Aviv of Israel in the second qualifying round.
RADNICKI Mladen Zivkovic, Radovan Pankov, Aleksandar Todorovski, Aleksandar Stanisavljevic (69′ Sasa Stojanovic), Djordje Crnomarkovic, Nermin Haskic, Petar Grbic (83′ Aleksandar Jovanovic), Dusan Micic, Ryota Noma, Nikola Stankovic, Sladan Nikodijevic (46′ Marko Mrkic).
GZIRA Justin Haber, Prince Mambouana (81′ Sacha Borg), Zach Scerri (63′ Nikolai Muscat), Rodolfo Soares, Juan Corbalan, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Roderick Briffa (78′ Luca Brincat), Jorginho, Thomas Veronese, Amadou Samb.
Referee: Jason Barcelo (GIB)
Assistant Referees: Johan Ward, Andrew Mario Parody (GIB)
Fourth Official: Patrick Canepa (GIB)