Valletta ended in nine men as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to FK Qarabagh in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round at the Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. A defeat which brings to an end Maltese clubs’ adventure in UEFA compettions with a rather miserable record – just one draw in eight matches.
The Citizens were eliminated with a 5-0 aggregate score following the 0-1 defeat at Ta’ Qali while Qarabagh reach the third qualifying round where they will be facing FC Red Bull Salzburg of Austria.
It was Reynaldo who put the Azerbaijan champions ahead on 15 minutes.
Four minutes later, the Citizens were reduced to ten men as Jonathan Caruana was sent off by the referee from Azerbaijan in what seemed a harsh decision on the Malta defender.
Three minutes in the second half, Chumbinho – scorer of the only goal in the first leg – doubled the score and Danilo Dias made it 3-0 on 57 minutes.
Ten minutes from time, Leroy George sealed the issue with a fourth goal.
Ryan Fenech was then sent off after picking two yellow cards in a couple of minutes, leaving his team in nine men for the final six minutes.
QARABAGH Ibrahim Sehic, Qara Qarayev, Reynaldo (46′ Vuqar Nadirov), Danilo Leandro Dias, Ilgar Gurbanov, Richard Alemeida (75′ Namig Yusifov), Admir Teli, Ansi Agolli (81′ Tarlan Guliyev), Leroy George, Badavi Guseynov.
VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Hugo Faria, Roderick Briffa, Lateef Elford Alliyu (57′ Raphael Kooh Sohna), Shaun Bajada, Ian Zammit (69′ Luke Montebello), Abdelkarim Nafti (85′ Hamid Al Kamali), Luke Dimech.
Referee: Sergei Tsinkevich (BLR)