Sliema Wanderers lost 1-0 to Khazar Lankaran at the City Stadium in Lankaran to bow out lf the UEFA Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate score.
Rahid Amirguliyev scored the all-important goal for the Azerbaijani side on 29 minutes.
Blues’ coach Alfonso Greco preferred Ariel Laudisi to Trevor Cilia for the only change to the team which shared the spoils with Khazar in a 1-1 draw last week.
The Wanderers had their fair share of scoring opportunities but the dismissal of Clifford Gatt Baldacchino on 72 minutes complicated matters. Khazar also had substitute Elnur Abdullayev sent off six minutes from time but the hosts still held well to maintain the lead till the end.
FC Khazar will now face Maccabi Haifa of Israel in the second round.
KHAZAR Antonio Doblas, Rasim Ramaldanov, Sadio Tounkara, Eder Bonfim, Zuhir Benouahi (89′ Alvaro Silva), Nildo Franca, Rahid Amirguliyev, Radomir Todorov, Nikola Gligorov (61′ Adrian Pit), Manuel Skarlatake, Marin Orsulic (80′ Elnur Abdullayev).
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Stanley Nka Ohawuchi, Ariel Laudisi (70′ Ivan Woods), Cifford Gatt Baldacchino, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Beppe Muscat (84′ Trevor Cilia), Stefano Bianciardi.
Referee: Wim Smet (BEL)
Assistnt Referees: Dirk Gilon, Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Fourth Official: Saim Loeman (BEL)