BRATISLAVA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Slovan Bratislava, Slovakia's reigning football champions, embark on their road to the coveted UEFA Champions League group stage with an unfortunate draw on Wednesday.
Sutjeska Niksic, the champions of Montenegro, scored very late in Bratislava to tie the game 1-1 and gained an unexpected advantage for the rematch on their home turf.
Slovan started well but failed to convert several scoring chances. The guests from Montenegro went for the cautious approach, their first shot on goal coming in the 21st minute. Slovan was close to scoring the opener late in the first half, but Aleksandar Cavric's shot was deflected by Sutjeska's goalkeeper Vladan Gijen.
The home team turned their aggressiveness up a couple of notches in the second half and their efforts were rewarded with a top scoring-chance in the 81st minute but Marin Ljubicic's attempt sailed past the goal. Shortly after, Andraz Sporar sent the home crowd into a frenzy, scoring the opening goal from close range after a great pass by Erik Daniel.
Just when the fans in the National Football Stadium in Bratislava thought that the win is in the bag, Sutjeska's Damir Kojasevic fired a long shot towards Slovan's goalkeeper Dominik Greif with mere seconds left to play, it bounced off a goal post and ended up behind his back, 1-1.
Sutjeska will host Slovan on July 17, the winner will advance to the second qualifying round (there are three qualifying rounds and a playoff match before the group stage) and face APOEL FC, the champions of Cyprus.