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St Gallen scrape through

St Gallen's Pascal Jenny (left) fights for the ball with Dimitar Kapinkovski of Macedonia

(Keystone)

Swiss football club St Gallen were fortunate even to be involved in Friday's UEFA Cup first round draw, after only just surviving a qualifying round scare against Macedonian side FK Pelister.

St Gallen were beaten 3-2 at home in Thursday's second leg, but still managed to win the overall tie thanks to their earlier 2-0 victory in the away leg.

Having started Thursday's match with that two goal cushion, Marcel Koller's team had appeared to be on course for an easy victory with two second half goals from Romanian striker Ionel Gane putting the Swiss side 4-0 up overall.

But the Macedonians then staged an incredible comeback, scoring three goals in nine minutes and threatening to turn the tie on its head.

Igor Talevski scored Macedonia's first goal in the 65th minute, Cvete Deliovski equalised in the 72nd minute while Jordanco Stojmenovski's goal two minutes later made it 4-3 overall in St Gallen's favour.

With away goals proving decisive in the event of a draw, St Gallen were suddenly just one goal away from an improbable defeat. But the Swiss team were able to hold out and squeeze their way into the UEFA Cup for the second successive season.

swissinfo with agencies


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