Europa League: Coleraine beat Maribor on penalties

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Watch: Coleraine shock Maribor with victory on penalties

Coleraine produced a heroic performance to beat Slovenian side NK Maribor 5-4 on penalties after their Europa League qualifier ended 1-1 after extra-time.Ben Doherty scored the winning penalty after Rudi Vancas Pozeg had missed from the spot for the hosts.James McLaughlin had given the battling Irish Premiership side the lead with a low left-foot volley on 62 minutes.Vancas Pozeg slotted home at the far post to level on 65 and Amir Dervisevic missed a penalty during extra-time.The Irish League part-timers went into the first qualifying round tie as massive underdogs against the 15-times Slovenian champions, who have made the group stages of both the Champions League and the Europa League on three occasions.However buoyed by winning their first game in the competition against La Fiorita last week, Coleraine were a match for their opponents throughout and ran out deserved winners for their skill, energy and industry.Oran Kearney’s side will now take their place in Monday’s draw for the second qualifying round, alongside Linfield, to whom they finished runners-up in the Irish Premiership.

James McLaughlin scored for the second successive Europa League game for ColeraineBoth sides had scoring opportunities in the first half but the best chances fell to the hosts, Rok Kronaveter forcing Gareth Deane into a fine save from his free-kick from just outside the area.Aleks Pihlet provided an inviting cross from the right which Aljosa Matko met at the far post but under pressure from Aaron Canning, his effort drifted wide.More McLaughlin magicMcLaughlin, Coleraine’s match-winning hero last week, produced another moment of magic to give the visitors the lead 17 minutes after the interval.The striker caught a dropping ball 20 yards out and unleashed a stunning low left-foot strike which flew into the bottom corner of the net.His side’s lead proved shortlived, though, as a rare defensive lapse allowed Vancas Pozeg the simple task of firing in at the far post after Coleraine failed to cut out a cross from the right.Deane produced another fine save to tip over Jasmine Mesanovic’s drive and later made a fine stop from Alexandru Cretu.Maribor passed up a glorious opportunity to win the match in the 104th minute when substitute Amir Dervisevic hammered his penalty against the bar after Aaron Traynor had brought down Martin Milec inside the area.Both sides converted their first four penalties of the shootout, before Doherty drilled home the winning spot-kick after Pancas Vozeg had struck the post with his errant spot-kick.Ian Parkhill, Lyndon Kane, Gareth McConnachie and Eoin Bradley were Coleraine’s other successful penalty-takers as the club enjoyed one of the greatest results in their history and secured a further financial fillip.

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