Hamrun Spartans reached the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League for the first time in the history of the club after defeating FK Velez Mostar of Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 in the second leg of the second qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.
Branko Nisevic’s side will be facing Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia in the third qualifying round with the first leg being played away from home. Levski reached this stage after eliminating PAOK with a 3-1 aggregate score thanks to a 2-0 win at home and a 1-1 draw in Thessaloniki.
The Spartans managed to take the lead on the 15th minute when Jonny pounced on a through pass by Elvis Mashike on the right and after entering the area, he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Slavisa Bogdanovic.
Velez hit back with a good run by on the right flank by Mehmed Cosic on the 19th minute with the winger entering the area and hitting the crossbar with an angled shot.
The Spartans threatened once again on 32 minutes with a freekick by Bjelicic which was tipped into a corner by the Velez goalkeeper.
Four minutes in added time, Dodo was unlucky to hit the upright for Hamrun with a powerful shot from outside the area when served on the left.
During the second half, the Spartans kept their opponents under control and towards the end had a couple of opportunities thanks to which they could have increased the lead.
HAMRUN Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Matthew Guillaumier (80’ Matteo Fedele), Elvis Mashike (62’ Moussa Sowe), Ailton Jorge Soares ‘Dodo’ (84’ Bruno Ederson Domingos), Roko Prsa, Ognjen Bjelicic (80’ Rodrigo Callegari), Juan Carlos Corbalan, Jonny (62’ Igor Nedeljkovic), Emerson Marcelina, Ryan Camenzuli.
VELEZ Slavisa Bogdanovic, Adin Bajric, Samir Zeljkovic, Omar Prses (69’ Edo Vehabovic)), Mehmed Cosic (69’ Alen Dejanovic), Nermin Haskic, Djorde Pantelic (69’ Ar,am Dzankovic), Dino Hasanovic, Frane Ilkic, Elmir Halilovic (39’ Antonio Pavic), Samir Radovac (57’ Nemanja Andusic).
Referee: Juri Frischer EST
Assistant Referees: Sander Saga, Veiko Motsnik EST
Fourth Official: Kristo Kulljastinen EST