Birkirkara through to second round after fine 2-0 win

Birkirkara secured a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League as they defeated NK Široki Brijeg of Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 in the second leg at the Hibernians Stadium on Thursday to advance with a 3-1 aggregate score. The Stripes will face FC Infonet Tallinn of Estonia or Heart of Midlothian of Scotland in the second qualifying round, first leg to be played at home.

This is the fourth time, Birkirkara make it to a second round and the second consecutive qualification after eliminating FC Ulisses of Armenia last season.

Stripes coach Drazen Besek made one change to the team which drew in Bosnia Herzegovina as he replaced Ryan Camenzuli with Shaun Bajada.

Birkirkara made their intentions clear right from the start going close within the first seven minutes through Gareth Sciberras and Vito Plut but their attempts were blocked.

The Stripes managed to take the lead on the 29th minute when Serbian striker Srdjan Dimitrov received an assist by Plut and advanced on the left flank before slotting past goalkeeper Antonio Soldo.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Vito Plut received a good through pass but his conclusion from outside the edge of the area ended just wide.

Birkirkara doubled the score on the 76th minute when Vito Plut concluded a good run on the left with an assist for Guillaumier but Stipo Marković intercepted the ball, deflecting it past Soldo for an own goal.