TRNAVA, Slovakia. July 31 (PSN) – Legia Warsaw took part of the second leg of the second round of UEFA Champions League qualifying on Tuesday and won the away game 1:0.
Final score: Spartak Trnava – Legia Warsaw 0:1
Legia were unable to seize the opportunity to move on for the chance to play in the greatest club tournament in the world. While the Polish outfit did manage to win its away game in Slovakia, it nonetheless were eliminated due to losing 1:2 on aggregate to Spartak.
After having lost 0:2 in Warsaw, Legia needed to not only win in Trnava, but as well outscore the opposition in order to make up for their mistakes in the first leg game.
Dean Klafuric’s side came into the second leg determined to write off their wrongs and it showed in their performance. Legia were constantly going on the offensive and pressured Spartak to make mistakes at almost every opportunity. At one point early on, this almost even caused Spartak to score an own goal.
A red card by Marko Vesovic in the 37th minute forced the Legionista’s to up the ante. The Montenegrin winger collected a second yellow after trying to cover up for a mistake which saw booked with a red. This did not hurt Legia much, as the Polish champions still remained as an offensive threat and even managed to score after the half. A great cross by summer signing Carlitos into the box for defender Inaki Astiz, who tipped the ball into the net meant that Legia were still very much in the game despite being a player down.
Regardless of Legia’s red card, Spartak Trnava’s game plan did not change and the Slovak champions continued to hold down the fort, hoping the ride out the game.
Unfortunately, a late second red card for Legia drastically changed everything. Midfielder Domagoj Antolic, like Vesovic was previously already booked with a yellow. So when the Croat fouled a Spartak player after losing the ball himself, it meant that Legia would be forced to play with only 9 men for the remaining 10 minutes.
At this point, Spartak begun to open their attack and attempt to score a goal themselves on a tired and weakened Legia defense. However, Legia goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz continued his good form and managed to stomp out each attempt by Spartak.
In the end, the 9-man Legia side were unable to break through the Spartak defense and force extra time by scoring a second goal. This loss meant that the Polish dreams of promotion to the European elite will need to wait for yet another year.
Legia Warsaw will now play in the third round of UEFA Europa League qualifying. They will face the winner of the F91 Dudelange (Luxembourg) – FC Drita (Kosovo) tie.
FC Spartak Trnava – Legia Warsaw 0:1 (0:0)
Goal: Astiz 63′
Yellow carded: Tóth, Vlasko – Vešović, Antolić.
Red carded: Marko Vešović (37), Domagoj Antolić (85)
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (Israel) Attendance: 17 204
Spartak: 1. Martin Chudý – 2. Andrej Kadlec, 22. Martin Tóth, 21. Boris Godál, 20. Matúš Čonka – 33. Erik Jirka, 34. Lukáš Greššák, 25. Jakub Rada, 18. Anton Sloboda (76, 10. Ján Vlasko), 8. Erik Grendel (70, 17. Fabian Miesenböck) – 45. Marvin Egho (90, 15. Ivan Hladík)
Legia: 1. Arkadiusz Malarz – 4. Mateusz Wieteska, 34. Iñaki Astiz, 2. Michał Pazdan (53, 27. Carlitos), 14. Adam Hloušek – 20. Marko Vešović, 29. Krzysztof Mączyński (80, 22. Kasper Hämäläinen), 7. Domagoj Antolić, 32. Miroslav Radović (46, 26. Cafú), 18. Michał Kucharczyk – 19. José Kanté
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