Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Away goal crucial to keep our dream alive – Micovic
Aug 1, 2018
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BOV Premier League
The Balzan FC squad on their arrival in Wien.
The Balzan FC squad on their arrival in Wien.

  • The Balzan FC squad on their arrival in Wien.

Late on Wednesday morning, the Balzan FC squad landed in Bratislava ahead of the second leg of their UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match against Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava.


Boosted by their prestigious 2-1 home win in last week’s first leg, Balzan’s spirits are high but they know that a big task awaits them on Thursday at 7.30pm in the Slovakian capital.

 

Speaking to www.mfa.com.mt on the eve of this important tie against Slovan Bratislava, Balzan coach Marko Micovic is banking on the self-belief and confidence his players as the Reds strive to set another milestone following their 5-3 aggregate win over Keshla in the previous round.

 

“We’ve come to Bratislava fully intent on doing our outmost to prolong this dream run in the Europa League,” the Serbian coach said.

 

“Needless to say that Slovan remain huge favourites to make it to the third qualifying round of this competition.

 

“At the moment, we have a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, a result that gives us a slim chance for the return match.

 

“We need to stay focused, raise our performance level of and avoid stupid mistakes to give ourselves a chance of staying in contention.”

 

COMPACT DEFENCE

 

Micovic praised the team’s performance in last week’s first leg which result in a 2-1 victory, albeit Slovan’s goal could have been avoided.

 

“We need to be very careful in defence in the away leg,” the Balzan coach added.

 

“We expect Slovan to put us under pressure from the very start. We need a very solid performance from our defenders and try to operate with counter-attacks.

 

“I don’t think that it’s realistic to think that we can defend and keep it 0-0 for 90 minutes against a side like Slovan in their own stadium. We hope to get an away goal which could be crucial.

 

Micovic has no major selection issues with Serbian forward Andrija Majdevac, who scored the all-important goal in the away leg against Keshla two weeks ago, returning from suspension.

 

The only absentee is winger Siraj Arab who didn’t make the trip to Slovakia due to an ankle injury.

 

The winner of the match between Balzan and Slovan Bratislava meet Austrian side Rapid Wien in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
 

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