Ten-man Slovenia beats Faeroe Islands 2-0

Tim Matavz scored a vital opening goal as Slovenia recovered

from a first-half red card to beat Faeroe Islands 2-0 in a Euro

2012 qualifying match on Friday.

Slovenia had defender Marko Suler sent off in the 25th minute

after he hacked down Christian Lamhauge Holst outside the penalty

area just as the striker looked set to open the scoring.

Instead it was 10-man Slovenia that broke the deadlock four

minutes later, when the 22-year-old Matavz scored with a

left-footed drive after the Faeroe Islands defense failed to clear

a seemingly harmless free kick.

Despite losing a player so early in the encounter, Slovenia

battled well on a soggy pitch and was rarely under threat for the

remainder of the half.

Faeroe Islands coach Brian Kerr tried to rally his players, but

their woes were further compounded in the 47th minute when the

visitors earned a corner and Rogvi Baldvinsson sent a diving header

into his own goal.

The home side did manage to create a handful of half-chances,

with Lamhauge Holst in particular posing a threat, but the host

proved unable to find a way past Slovenia goalkeeper Samir

Handanovic.

Slovenia moved into provisional second place in Group C, three

points clear of Serbia, which has played a game less. Group leader

Italy was playing Estonia later on Friday, while Faeroe Islands is

bottom of the table with one point from six games.

Lineups:

Faeroe Islands: Jakup Mikkelsen, Jonas Tor Naes (Suni Olsen,

81), Einar Hansen, Johan Davidsen, Rogvi Baldvinsson, Daniel Udsen

(Atli Danielsen, 45), Frodji Benjaminsen, Pol Johannes Justinussen,

Hjalgrim Elttor, Joan Edmundsson, Christian Lamhauge Holst

(Christian Mouritsen, 75).

Slovenia: Samir Handanovic, Miso Brecko, Marko Suler, Bostjan

Cesar, Robert Koren, Valter Birsa (Matej Mavric, 47), Milivoje

Novakovic (Zlatan Ljubijankic, 55), Bojan Jokic, Josip Ilicic,

Armin Bacinovic, Tim Matavz (Andraz Kirm, 76).