A clinical hat-trick from MSK Zilina striker Matej Jelic put Glentoran to the sword in the Europa League last night.
The Glens battled bravely but succumbed to a 3-0 defeat in Slovakia.
Jelic was the star attraction, the 24-year-old Croatian bagging a treble to ease Zilina into the second qualifying round with a 7-1 aggregate win over the Irish League underdogs.
Eddie Patterson’s side were always facing an uphill test against the Fortuna Liga side.
But despite missing influential trio Curtis Allen, David Scullion and Niall Henderson, the Glens managed to hold out until just before half-time when Zilina broke the deadlock.
Jelic was the man with the goal, finding the back of the net in the 44th minute to extend Zilina’s aggregate advantage.
The striker struck again in the 55th minute to double Zilina’s lead on the night.
And the striker claimed his hat-trick with a third in the 66th minute.
Žilina: Volešák, Škriniar, Jelić, Špalek, Pečovský, Vavro, Škvarka, Letić, Bénes, Mihalík , Mabouka.
Subs: Le Giang, Hučko, Michlík, Káčer, Paur, William, Čmelík.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Kane, Holland, Birney, Magee, McCaffrey, McAlorum, Gibson, Gordon, McMenamin, McCullough.
Subs: Hogg, Garrett, Stewart, Addis, O’Hanlon, Nelson.
Referee: Bardhyl Pashaj (ALB)