Slovan Bratislava beat Shamrock Rovers in UEFA Champions League qualifier

SK Slovan Bratislava beat Irish champions Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round here on Wednesday.

Rafael Ratao, the 25-year old Brazilian striker who led Bratislava’s scorers last season but was almost sold after going on vacation without authorization, became the hero of the game, scoring both goals.

“It is easier to fire someone than to sell them to another team. I took the interest of the team into consideration after Ratao apologized and worked hard during the off-season,” said Slovan Bratislava’s new coach Vladimir Weiss.

In the 28th minute, Ratao headed in a pass by Vernon de Marco, and two minutes into the second half, he scored again after Slovan’s early pressure resulted in a successful combination play.

The reigning Slovakian league champions were close to stretching the lead to 3-0 in the final minute but Vladimir Weiss Jr. failed to convert a penalty.

“We are closer to our goal but we have not advanced to the second qualifying round yet. It was no easy match today and the second leg will be even more difficult,” said Weiss after the game.

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