Gzira United maintained their unbeaten record in their UEFA Europa Conference League campaign after holding Wolfsberger AC of Austria in a goalless draw at the Worthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt in a match from the first leg of the third qualifying round.
It was another brilliant performance by Darren Abdilla’s side who continued where they had left in their last outing against FK Radnicki Nis when they managed to eliminate the Serbian side on penalties following a dramatic 3-3 draw.
As expected, the Austrians went in search of an early goal but the Maroons kept their opponents under control. The best opportunity in the first half fell at the feet of Konstantin Kerschbaumer whose fine effort was neutralised by Gzira goalkeeper Darijan Radelic-Zarkov on the half-hour.
On the hour, in a swift counter-attack for the Maroons, Maxuell Maia almost surprised the hosts but his angled shot was parried by Bonmann.
Fifteen minutes from time, the Gzira custodian once again came to the rescue with a brilliant save on Tai Baribo following a cross by Scherzer.
The second leg between Gzira and Wolfsberger will be played at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday 11 with the winner set for a clash with the winner of the tie between Molde FK of Norway and Kisvarda FC of Hungary in the play-off round.
WOLFSBERGER Hendrik Bonmann, Konstantin Kerschbaumer (83′ Augustine Boakye), Simon Piesinger, (73′ Nikolas Veratschnig), Tai Baribo, Matteo Anzolin (46′ Jonathan Scherzer), Mario Leitgeb, Thorsten Rocher (77′ Dario Vizinger), Dominik Baumgartner, Luka Lochoshvili, Thierno Ballo (46′ Matthaus Taferner), Adis Jasic.
GZIRA Darijan Radelic Zarkov, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Luke Tabone, Nikolai Muscat, Zach Scerri (90′ Clive Gauci), Marcelo Dias, Luis Carlos Riascos Torres, Ricardo Correa Duarte, Marko Cosic, Maxuell Maia (69′ Jackson Mendoza), Jefferson de Assis (83′ Toni Kolega).
Referee: Urs Schnyder SUI
Assistant Referees: Marco Zurcher Benjamin Zurcher SUI
Fourth Official: Alessandro Dudic SUI