F91 Dudelange have progressed to the group stage of the Europa League competition for the second successive season.
A dramatic night at the Josy Barthel stadium on Thursday saw F91 Dudelange overcome FC Ararat-Armenia on penalties.
F91 Dudelange had goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert to thank as they overcame FC Ararat-Armenia to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League for the second successive season.
Ararat had arrived in Luxembourg with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg and threatened to extend that lead in the 20th minute when they were awarded a penalty. But F91 goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert proved to be a hero (not for the last time in the match) when he saved the resulting spot-kick from Anton Kobyalko. But three minutes later Cape Verdean player Mailson Lima slotted home from just inside the area to give Ararat a 3-1 lead on aggregate.
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Dudelange came out in the second half with more determination, and three minutes after the restart they were level on the night when Luxembourg international Danel Sinani also scored a penalty, awarded for handball against Ararat defender Dmitry Guz after Dominik Stolz broke into the area. And the prolific Sinani was on hand again in the 70th minute to expertly place the ball beyond Ararat keeper Dmitri Abakumov from the edge of the area, again after good work from Stolz.
After a goalless period of extra time the tie had to be settled on penalties, and Joubert again rescued his club, diving smartly to deny Petros Avetisyan before F91’s Charles Morren had his spot-kick saved by Abakumov. The remaining of the regulation five penalties were all converted. The first spot-kick in the sudden death shoot-out was luckily scored by Tom Schnell and then Georgi Pashov shot wide of Joubert’s right-hand post and Dudelange celebrations began.
The draw for the group stage takes place this afternoon. F91 are in pot 4 alongside famous clubs such as Rangers of Scotland and Ferencváros of Hungary, as well as strong teams like Wolfsburg of Germany.