After 135 goalless minutes the tie sparked to life in the second-half and José Nahi's injury time goal was the difference as Rossiyanka bested Sarajevo to make it to the next round of the UEFA Women's Champions League.
Picking up where they left off after the first leg, Rossiyanka took control of the match from the off, the ball attracted to Elena Terekhova as the attacker moved forward, spraying the ball out to her teammates and receiving it back to keep the move flowing. With less than 60 seconds on the clock Doris Bačić was called into action to grab Karina Blynskaya’s effort from range.
Despite the fast start the hosts failed to really trouble Bačić throughout the half, Terekhova, Ekaterina Sochneva, Anna Kozhnikova, Karina Blynskaya all failed to hit the target before the half hour. Although winning the duel for possession, Rossiyanka struggled to anything meaningful with the ball and the game was routinely pulled back for niggly fouls from both sides.
But it wasn’t all one way traffic and Jasna Djoković forced a fine fingertip save from Yulia Grichenko, as her goal-bound free kick was tipped over the bar by the leaping 'keeper. Even with the fouls and free kicks mounting, neither Terekhova or Sochneva could do anything with their set plays, with Bačić kept busy taking goal kicks.
After Bačić bundled a claim and Tia N'Réhy somehow missed her header from two yards out it seemed as if extra time would be inevitable, the two teams refused to be split but N'Réhy immediately atoned for her error. Following Dajana Spasojević’s clumsy foul on Kristina Aleksanyan, Sochneva finally delivered the ball with real purpose; N'Réhy rose well to nod the ball across goal and beyond Bačić. After over 150 minutes and 25 attempts, Rossiyanka finally had the edge over the Bosnian champions.
Very much the team on top, the hosts began to pepper the away goal and Bačić had to be alert to make a string of saves as Rossiyanka won a succession of corners. With the visitors rocking and the hosts looking ready to double their advantage any second, it was a wonder when Blynskaya driven shot from 30-yards narrowly missed the target, with the fans ready to applaud the effort.
Following a hopeful ball forward Armisa Kuć found herself ready to break into the box, completely isolated from her teammates but with Ekaterina Dmitrenko for company. Kuć slowed down and took the ball wide into the box, waiting for the inevitable contact from the defender and made no hesitation in going down when her marker nipped in to steal the ball away. Kuć was felled with the most minimal contact but Désirée Grundbacher immediately blew up and pointed to the spot, Djoković sent Grichenko to her right as the ball flew into the left side of the net; parity restored.
On the ropes
From then on Rossiyanka were frantic, desperate for another goal but again struggled with a lack of finishing as Sarajevo did everything they could to block and tackle to provide Bačić with adequate cover. The ticking clock was not their friend and play was, again, continually stopped as player from both sides went down.
Just when it looked like Sarajevo were going to stand tall and see the draw out to go through on away goals, they were dealt a body-blow when substitute José Nahi fired the hosts ahead from a corner deep in stoppage time. Nahi had looked lively since coming on and it was kitchen sink time for Rossiyanka, the home fans made themselves known as Nahi and her teammates ran off to celebrate the goal on the running track. The attacker was subsequently booked for her celebrations. It was Sarajevo’s turn to frantically hunt for a second goal but they continued to struggle as they had all tie and failed to find some last second magic.