Slovan Bratislava taste first victory in UEFA Conference League

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BRATISLAVA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- After a defeat and a draw, Slovan Bratislava finally scored a victory in Group F of the UEFA Conference League, defeating Gibraltar's Lincoln Red Imps 2-0 on Thursday.

Slovan could have taken the lead just 30 seconds into the game when striker Samuel Mraz beat the offside trap and found himself alone on the edge of the area, but his shot ended up in the hands of Red Imps keeper Dayle Coleing.

Eight minutes later, after a long throw in, the visitors were very close to taking the lead, but Bernardo Lopes' attempt from inside the box was saved by Slovan keeper Adrian Chovan.

The home team was dominating but made a lot of mistakes in defense, enabling the Red Imps to mount dangerous counterattacks.

On one of these occasions, the Red Imps were only centimeters away from opening the scoring in the 26th minute when 20-year-old defender Ethan Brito failed to convert a cross from the right.

Slovan struck three minutes before the end of the first half when Jaromir Zmrhal managed to squeeze the ball through two defenders, but his shot from close range bounced off the post and Aleksandar Cavric's subsequent rebound attempt went wide.

The fans in the Tehelne Pole stadium in Bratislava finally had something to cheer about just 50 seconds into the second half, when Slovan's English midfielder Andre Green, returning after an ankle injury, had no trouble slotting Jurij Medvedev's pass into the net, putting Slovan ahead 1-0.

Six minutes before the end, Medvedev sent a free-kick into the box for his Bulgarian teammate Vasil Bozhikov. The ball bounced off a defender and landed at Ezekiel Henty's feet, and the Nigerian striker bundled home from close range to secure the 2-0 win.

"We had to fight hard for this victory. The Red Imps are a tough opponent that should not be underestimated. I am happy with the three points but not with the performance of my team," said Slovan coach Vladimir Weiss.

"The group is tough, we will have to score points in the following away games if we want to advance," he added.

Slovan Bratislava is third in Group F with four points, with PAOK leading the pack with seven points after defeating second-placed FC Copenhagen 2-1 on Thursday. Lincoln Red Imps are still bottom and pointless. Enditem

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