Ben Doherty the hero as Coleraine win Europa League thriller in Maribor

Former Derry City player Ben Doherty was the hero as Coleraine won a Europa League thriller in Maribor
Andy Watters

Europa League preliminary/qualifying first round: NK Maribor 1 Coleraine 1 (Coleraine won 5-4 on penalties)

BEN Doherty held his nerve to score the winner in the penalty shoot-out as Coleraine beat hosts NK Maribor 5-4 in the Europa League last night.

The game finished 1-1 draw after extra-time in Slovenia. The Bannsiders went in at the interval on level terms with Josh Carson and Stewart Nixon had gone close with early efforts. At the other end, Gareth Deane saved well from a Rok Kronaveter free-kick from the edge of the box and again from Aljosa Matko.

Oran Kearney’s men went ahead when James McLaughlin latched on to a poor clearance and smashed home an unstoppable volley from the edge of the box. But their lead lasted just four minutes when a cross was whipped in from the right and Rudi vancak Pozeg remained composed at the back post to equalise from close range.

With extra-time looming, Eoin Bradley won the ball in midfield and broke forward but his shot was saved by Azbe Jug. Neither side could break the deadlock in extra-time but after Maribor’s fifth spot kick cannoned back off the post, Doherty slotted home the winner.

Shamrock Rovers tussle with Finland's Ilves also went to penalties after a 2-2 draw. Both goalkeepers scored as the shoot-out reached 9-9 and when Aaron McEneff scored (for the second time) the score was 11-11. Alan Mannus saved Ilves' 12th spot-kick and Joey O'Brien scored and Rovers celebrated a dramatic 12-11 win.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Bohemians in Hungary last night. The Gypsies led during normal time and on penalties but bowed out after losing the shoot-out 4-2.

Keith Barr had given the Dubliners the lead after 22 minutes but the sides went in level at the break after Nemanja Nikolic equalised from the penalty spot. Both sides had chances to win it in the second half but neither could take them and Bohs then held a 2-1 lead in the shoot-out but Dan Casey and Kris Twardek both missed and Lyes Houri kept his nerve to seal victory for the Hungarians.


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