Vardar off to a disastrous start in the UEFA Europa League against Zenit

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Vardar got off to a disastrous start in its first UEFA Europa League group stage, losing 5:0 at home to Zenit from St. Petersburg.

The Russian team completely overwhelmed the Macedonian champion from the start of the game, scoring as early as the 6th minute through Aleksandr Kokorin. Kokorin headed another goal in at the 21st minute, and Artem Dzyba set the halftime score at 3:0.

Vardar, which reached the group stage after two spectacular wins against Turkish Fenerbahce, created chances and fought as hard as it could, cheered by its fans, but the difference in quality showed in the second half as well. Branislav Ivanovic scored Zenit’s fourth in the 66th minute and Brazilian Emiliano Rigoni set the final score in the last minutes of the game.

Vardar’s next game is away to Rosenborg. The Norwegian team also suffered a heavy defeat in its first game in the L Group, losing 4:0 to Real Sociedad.