After a nail-biting encounter that ended in extra-time, Balzan came back from death to qualify for a second qualifying round thanks to an Andre Prates goal in the 94th minute.
After losing 4-1 in the first leg in Slovenia, NK Domzale, leading 3-0 against Balzan, managed to level matters on aggregate and took the match into extra time.
But when the substitute defender Andre Prates fired a low shot into the corner of Gasper Tratnik’s goal, the Balzan clan sensed that qualification was now back within their reach.
From then on, the Balzan players defended diligently to complete a 5-4 aggregate win and advance to the next round of the Europa Conference League where they will face the winner of the tie between Nemadna Grodno, of Belarus, and Liechtenstein’s side Vaduz.
Balan played with the same line-up of the first leg, defending a comfortable 3 goal lead, with Aleksa Anderjic and Angel Torres playing in front together with the new striker Peter Ukeme Olawale.
Balzan started brightly with Angel Torres was proving a handful for the Slovenian side. On one occasion, he dribbled past a couple of Domzale defenders but goalkeeper Gasper Tratnik came out to block his attempt.
NK Domzale struggled to penetrate Balzan defence and rarely troubled the goalkeeper.
In the 32nd minute goalkeeper Danilo Golovic made a save over an attempt by Franko Kovacecic.
However a minute before halftime they gained a glimmer of hope when Danijel Sturm crossed the ball for ABRAHAM NWANKWO who headed the ball behind Danilo Golovic to put NK Domzale 1-0 in front.
Just before the break, Jake Grech connected a cross from the left sent by Samir Arab but his shot was deflected into a corner. From the ensuing corner, Angel Torres sent the ball at the far post, but Nikola Braunovic shot straight at goalkeeper Tratnik.
In the second half Balzan substituted Triston Caruana with Japanese midfielder Ryohei Michibuchi.
Balzan pushed forward and in the 56th minute Peter Olawale sent a long-range shot but Tratnik fisted away..
In the 63rd minute, NK Domzale increased their hope as they won a freekick on the left flank. Substitute JOST PISEK took the direct free-kick which filtered past a number of Balzan defenders and finished between the goalkeeper and the far post.
In the 64th minute an effort by Jake Grech finished just wide.
NK Domzale began to believe in the impossible dream of getting back from their shock 4-1 loss from the first leg when, in the 70th minute, Franko Kovacevic finished his effort wide.
Domzale, now brimming with confidence, in the 73rd minute, FRANKO KOVACEVIC scored the 3rd goal for Domzale with a simple tap-in after rounding the onrushing goalkeeper, levelling the aggregate to 4 – 4.
Balzan reacted and in the 90th minute, following a goalmouth scramble, Ivan Bozovic’s drive was pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Tratnik.
Then with stoppage time almost over, Angel Torres took advantage of a mistake in the defence but hit a firm grounder on the side-netting as the game went into extra-time.
Four minutes inside the first period, substitute Nikola Zerjal has to be credited for his measured pass towards ANDRE PRATES who hit home with a brilliant shot into the lower left corner.
However, five minutes later, Andre Fausto, who was cautioned for removing his shirt after scoring, received a second yellow card following a reckless tackle just outside the area, leaving his side in ten men.
From the resulting freekick, Balzan goalkeeper Danilo Golovic performed a good save on Jost Pisek’s effort
But Balzan were now in total command. Jake Grech should have killed off NK Domzale after 114 minutes when after receiving being set by Zerjal he hit wide in front of goal.
Domzale tried to mount a late pressure but Balzan held on to crown a memorable night for their fans.
Balzan: Danilo Golovic, Ivan Bozovic, Momcilo Raso, Nicola Braunovic, Samir Arab (Andre Fausto Prates Rodrigues 72′), Aleksa Andrejic (Nikola Zerjal 61′), Triston Caruana (Ryhoei Michibuchi 46′), Paul Fenech (Manyluak Aguek 79′), Jake Grech, Peter Umeke Olawale (Edwaro Pinto Gomes 100′), Angel Yesid Torres Quinones.
Domzale: Gasper Tratnik, Mirko Mutavcic, Abraham Nwankwo, Anderj Duric, Tilen Klemencic (Gasper Cerne 106′), Edin Julardzija, Franko Kovacevic, Ziga Repas (Benjamin Markus 86′) (Said Duranovic (112′), Luka Topalovic (Jost Pisek 55′), Daniel Sturm, Mario Krstovski
Referee: Visar Kastrati (Kos)