Rustavi on the europa league march
Nervy victory over Armenians sets up Kazakh clash
Author: By Alastair Watt
Metalurgi Rustavi progressed to the Second Round of the UEFA Europa League after a 1-1 draw against Banants of Armenia at the Poladi Stadium secured a deserved 2-1 aggregate victory.
On a swelteringly hot day in southern Georgia , the home side were made to sweat when a late penalty by Banants striker Du Bala gave the visitors an unlikely lifeline.
However, Metalurgi Rustavi held on bravely and will now face Irtysh of Kazakhstan who pulled off a remarkable triumph against Polish side Jagiellonia Bialystok.
Metalurgi held a precious one-goal advantage going into the return leg after having emerged as 1-0 victors in the previous week’s first leg in Yerevan .
Irakli Kobalia had been the Rustavi hero then but, having stupidly got himself sent in the aftermath of his winning goal, the striker was suspended for the all important return in Rustavi .
However, his absence did not seem to inhibit the home side too much as they started at slick speed as they searched for the early goal that would surely kill the tie.