Ruzomberok grabs last berth of Europa League

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-18 19:54:18|Editor: huaxia

BRATISLAVA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Ruzomberok beat Trnava 2-0 in a playoff on Friday to grab the last berth of the UEFA Europa League from the Slovak premier league Fortuna Liga.

Slovakia has four spots in the European cup competitions available for its best teams, with champion Slovan Bratislava Sports Club pocketing the only Champion's League spot, and second-placed MSK Zilina and third-placed FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda into the Europa League.

The last Europa League spot would be awarded to the winner of the playoffs played between four teams ranked below the top three at the end of the Fortuna Liga season.

After Trnava edged out Trencin 3-0 on Tuesday and Ruzomberok barely made it through by defeating Michalovce 1-0 on the same day, Trnava and Ruzomberok battled it out in the final duel on Friday.

Ruzomberok's coach Jan Haspra had to solve a tough situation as his best scorer Filip Twardzik was forced to sit this one out because of the five yellow cards he amassed in the previous match-ups.

Both teams approached the crucial duel with caution and the fans in Trnava's arena did not witness many scoring chances with both goalkeepers making sure that their sheets stayed clean.

The crowd got to finally see a goal being scored in the 81st minute after one of the visitors got fouled in the penalty box and Ruzomberok was awarded the penalty shot.

The seasoned 34-year-old captain of the team Jan Maslo took it upon himself to execute and he did not disappoint, 1-0.

Trnava tried desperately to tie the game but its efforts were halted by the Nigerian Yusuf Bamidele's first red card of the season.

To make things worse for the home team, unguarded Dalibor Takac stretched Ruzomberok's lead to two after an easy shot from the middle of the box three minutes into extra time.

The home squad could have made things more interesting two minutes later but Dijan Vukojevic sent his penalty shot way over the crossbar.

Ruzomberok was eliminated in the first round in the Europa League by the Bulgarian team Levski Sofia last year. Enditem