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Kvas motivates Maribor

Thursday, 15 July 2004

[1] A goal just before half-time from Andrej Kvas gave visiting NK Maribor a priceless first-leg lead against FK Sileks of F.Y.R. Macedonia in this UEFA Cup first qualifying round tie.

Solitary strike

[2] Kvas struck from 14 metres in added time at the end of the first period following a neat pass from Dominik Beršnjak. It was to be the only goal of the game of a match that featured several chances for both sides and means the Slovenian side will be firm favourites to progress after the return contest at their Ljudski vrt stadium on 29 July.

Good opening

[3] Sileks had started brightly, finding room to fire in three shots from distance in the opening half-hour. Captain Aleksandar Konjanovski was at the heart of the home side's forays forward but in the 30th minute it was Branislav Arsenievic who spurned a great chance from five metres. Then, soon afterwards, Dalibor Stojkovic shot over the Maribor goal when well-placed.

Warning shot

[4] After going behind to that Kvas strike, the home side kept up the pressure in the second half but were made to pay for their continued profligacy. Dragan Jelic fired a warning shot in the 51st minute but the chance went just wide. Stevica Ristic then had two more opportunities for Sileks but was denied each time by Maribors in-form goalkeeper Tomaz Murko.

Header saved

[5] Milan Rakic nearly doubled the visitors' lead in the 67th minute from ten metres before Sileks were presented with three more chances to equalise. Dimitrar Spasovski had two of them, but each was wasted and when Konjanovski's header was saved in the 80th minute, the home crowd knew it was not to be their night at the Gradski stadium.

Andrej Kvas in action against Sileks