Nine-man Gzira United bowed out of the UEFA Europa Conference League after losing 0-4 to Wolfsberger in the second leg of the third qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday.
Following the goalless draw in Klagenfurt last week, the Austrians were determined to make amends and after taking a two-goal lead during the first half, they extended the lead with another two goals as Gzira had Zach Scerri and Jefferson sent off.
Despite this defeat, this UEFA Europa Conference League campaign was overall a positive experience for the Maroons as they managed to reach the third qualifying round for the first time, maintaining a positive run in the first five matches.
In the play-off round, Wolfsberger are set to face Norwegian side Molde who defeated Kisvarda of Hungary 3-0 in the first leg.
Wolfsberger made their intentions clear right from the start going close with a Tai Baribo effort from the right who tested Radelic Zarkov after just 45 seconds.
Tai Baribo was not to be denied on the 12th minute as he handed them the lead, beating the Gzira custodian from close range when served on the left by Thierno Ballo following a good move with Rocher.
Wolfsberger maintained the pressure and on the 21st minute an angled shot by Thorsten Rocher was blocked on the goal line by Luke Tabone with Radelic Zarkov grabbing the ball.
The Austrians doubled the score on the 32nd when following a series of shots, the ball reached Ballo outside the area who served Dominik Baumgartner whose low shot from the left ended in the bottom right corner.
Six minutes in the second half, Gzira United were reduced to ten men after Zach Scerri received a second yellow card by referee Nicholas Walsh.
Wolfsberger soon extended the lead when Thorsten Rocher converted a penalty after Gabriel Bohrer Mentz brought Tai Baribo down inside the area on the 59th minute.
To make matters worse for the Maroons, they had Jefferson sent off on the 65th after he received a second yellow card for a foul on Baumgartner.
Six minutes from time, substitute Augustine Boakye made it 4-0, beating Radelic-Zarkov with an angled shot from he right.
GZIRA Darien Radelic-Zarkov, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Luke Tabone (46’ Thiago Espindola), Nikolai Muscat (70’ Brooklyn Borg), Zachary Scerri, Marcelo Dias, Luis Carlos Riascos Torres (70’ Jackson Mendoza), Toni Kolega (70’ Andrew Borg), Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte (46’ Clive Gauci), Marko Cosic, Jefferson de Assis.
WOLFSBERGER Hendrik Bonmann, Konstantin Kerschbaumer (70’ Augustine Boakye), Simon Pieslinger, Tai Baribo, Mario Leitgeb (67’ Ervin Omi), Thorsten Rocher (61’ Nicolas Vergos), Dominik Baumgartner, Raphael Schifferl, Michael Novak, Thierno Ballo (46’ Matthaus Taferner), Adis Jasic.
Referee: Nicholas Walsh SCO
Assistant Referees: Graeme Stewart, Calum Spence SCO
Fourth Official: Colin Steven SCO