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Viktoria Plzen beat Gżira United to reach Play Off round of Conference League

GŻIRA UNITED                 0

VIKTORIA PLZEN           2

Traore 47; Vlkanova 70

(Viktoria Plzen win 6-0 on aggregate)

GŻIRA UNITED

D. Cassar; T. Espindola, G. Mentz, C. Chaba (65 B. Azizi), M. Dias, Z. Scerri (90 H. Kadar), A. Borg, F. Romero, L. Macula (89 M. Alouzi), B. Borg (90 I. Ellul), L. Riascos (73 W. Teixeira).

VIKTORIA PLZEN

M. Jedlicka; L. Holik, R. Hranac, V. Jemelka, J. Mosquera, I. Traore (62 P. Bucha), J. Paluska, L. Kalvach (72 S. Dweh), A. Vlkanova, J. Kliment (76 J. Kopic), P. Sulc (62 R. Durosinmi).

Referee Denys Shurman (Ukraine FA).

Yellow cards Dias, Wilkson.

Gżira United’s run in the UEFA Conference League has drawn to a conclusion after their defeat to Viktoria Plzen in Thursday’s third qualifying round second leg at the National Stadium.

Given their European pedigree, it was expected that Plzen would overcome Gżira and continue their European journey as the Czechia side eye participation in the group stages of this competition.

The 6-0 aggregate victory reflects Plzen’s superiority over a Maroons side that despite the two defeats, they managed to hold their ground and their second-leg performance was very encouraging ahead of the start of the new domestic campaign.

For this encounter, Gżira coach Darren Abdilla opted to start with the returning Lucas Macula instead of Wilkson Teixeira upfront.

The latter was a starter in last week’s first leg in Czechia while Macula was serving a one-game ban.

Viktoria Plzen recorded the game’s first goalscoring chance when Adam Vlkanova forced David Cassar into a save as the Czech side were looking to find an early lead.

Moments later, Ibrahim Traore missed the target before Cassar denied him as the Plzen player squandered a couple of good opportunities.

The away side continued to be a threat with Pavel Sulc trying his luck but to no avail.

Gżira replied through defender Carlos Chaba who connected with a Thiago Espindola freekick but failed to find the back of the net.

The Maroons had another chance through Farid Romero but once again Gżira could not find a way to beat the Plzen goalkeeper.

After Plzen had a close-range effort by Sulc going wide, Gżira tested Plzen’s goalkeeper with Lucas Macula firing a low drive that was blocked by Martin Jedlicka.

Although Plzen, who last year featured in the Champions League group stages, dominated proceedings and were a threat in the final third, Gżira stood their ground and entered the dressing rooms in a goalless stalemate.

However, Plzen made sure to change the scoreline to their favour with Traore slotting past Cassar from inside the small area just two minutes into the restart of the match.

Buoyed by their opening goal, Plzen piled up more pressure on Gżira with Traore striking the crossbar before Cassar denied Mosquera from close-range.

The Gżira goalkeeper, on another busy European night, denied Jan Kliment from close-range with another brilliant save to maintain the one-goal deficit.

Nonetheless, Plzen still managed to double their lead through Vlkanova who beat Cassar with a low drive into the far corner from the edge of the area.

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