Wade Elliott sealed a comeback win for Birmingham after keeper Colin Doyle's blunder had gifted Maribor the lead.

Jonathan Spector produced a poor back-pass which Doyle missed completely as he tried to kick clear, allowing Dalibor Volas an easy tap-in.

Birmingham levelled when Marlon King's reverse pass sent in Chris Burke and he cut in from the right before finishing.

Elliott scored with a 25-yard strike as goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic allowed the ball to squirm beyond him.

The match was a welcome distraction for Birmingham considering their poor start in the Championship this season.

SUCCESS IN SLOVENIA

  • This was Maribor's first defeat in seven European home games after a run of five wins and a draw
  • No English side has lost a European club match against a team from Slovenia
  • Liverpool were the last English outfit to defeat Slovenian opposition - NK Olimpija Ljubljana in the Uefa Cup eight years ago

Birmingham were forced to reshuffle their defence with injuries to captain Stephen Carr and Curtis Davies. King started up front alone as Nikola Zigic began on the bench.

Elliott was just behind the lone striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation that included Jean Beausejour on the left wing and Burke on the right.

Birmingham, playing in yellow, made a bright start as Beausejour crossed for King, who headed at goalkeeper Handanovic.

But Maribor improved and Marcos Tavares controlled well with his chest then shot wide in the 13th minute. Tavares then turned provider, crossing for the lively Goran Cvijanovic, whose close-range header was turned wide for a corner by Doyle.

The visitors then regained the initiative. Keith Fahey shot over from 20 yards, after Maribor failed to clear a Burke cross, and King curled wide from a similar distance.

Birmingham were stunned though when Doyle's nightmare moment arrived. Spector deserved blame for his sloppy back-pass, from 30 yards out, that put Doyle under pressure with Volas charging at him.

But the keeper could not blame anyone for his dismal failure to connect with the ball, allowing Volas to tap in unopposed.

We showed great character and team spirit and, in the end, I thought we were worthy winners

Chris Hughton

Maribor were on top for the rest of the first half with Tavares drilling another shot wide, but Burke's volley from the edge of the box forced Handanovic into a save at the other end.

Early in the second period, an excellent long-range strike from Ales Mertelj was pushed over by Doyle. Burke then had a volley blocked as Birmingham looked to fight back.

Doyle had another nervous moment after an hour, missing an attempted punch from Martin Milec's free-kick but his blushes were spared as a whistle for offside halted play.

But Birmingham were quickly level as King fed Burke, who finished impressively to equalise. That goal led to Zigic's introduction from the bench and Chris Hughton's team continued to look dangerous with the tall Serbian striker heading over a Burke cross.

Dominant Birmingham then squandered an excellent opening as Elliott's eight-yard shot was blocked by Handanovic. Elliott made amends in the 80th minute with his goal, snatching a deserved lead that they protected well.

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton: "I was very frustrated with the goal we conceded. In defence of Colin, it was a very difficult ball for him to deal with.

"It was then important we didn't concede again and we managed that and then went on to get a grip on the game. We showed great character and team spirit and, in the end, I thought we were worthy winners.

"I would think Colin and Jonathan might offer to buy Chris and Wade a drink now!"

Maribor coach Darko Milanic: "In the first half I thought we were the better team and we played an excellent game. We had everything under control at that stage but knew our opponents were very dangerous.

"In the second half though we were not as clever on the ball and Birmingham were more dangerous. They capitalised on our mistakes and scored and, after that, we didn't keep it together.

"Birmingham showed the spirit I expected them to show. The result just shows the quality in the group."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

NK Maribor

  • 33 J Handanovic
  • 22 Potokar
  • 44 Arghus
  • 06 Milec
  • 08 Mezga (Crnic - 86' )
  • 20 Cvijanovic (Ibraimi - 71' )
  • 28 Viler
  • 31 Lesjak Booked
  • 70 Mertelj (Beric - 81' )
  • 09 Tavares
  • 17 Volas

Substitutes

  • 12 Pridigar
  • 02 Crnic
  • 05 Filipovic
  • 07 Mejac
  • 10 Ibraimi
  • 11 Velikonja
  • 32 Beric

Birmingham City

  • 13 Doyle
  • 04 Caldwell
  • 05 Pablo
  • 06 Ridgewell Booked
  • 23 Spector
  • 07 Burke
  • 11 Beausejour
  • 14 Gomis Booked
  • 15 Elliott
  • 18 Fahey
  • 09 King (Zigic - 65' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Myhill
  • 03 Murphy
  • 08 N'daw
  • 22 Redmond
  • 17 Rooney
  • 19 Zigic
  • 39 Wood
Ref: Hagen
Att: 11,000

Match Stats

Shots

15 14

On target

8 9

Corners

7 3

Fouls

14 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:07 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +1:05

Steven Caldwell takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +1:05 Booking

Booking Zoran Lesjak is booked.

90:00 +1:02

Zoran Lesjak concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgaro Gomis.

88:41

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Agim Ibraimi, comfortable save by Colin Doyle.

88:20

Martin Milec takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Caldwell. Mitja Viler takes a short corner.

86:28

Morgaro Gomis fouled by Agim Ibraimi, the ref awards a free kick. Colin Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

85:48 Substitution

Substitution Matic Crnic joins the action as a substitute, replacing Dejan Mezga.

84:33

Centre by Chris Burke.

84:06

Wade Elliott is ruled offside. Nejc Potokar takes the direct free kick.

83:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Marcos Tavares on Keith Fahey. Free kick taken by Steven Caldwell.

82:33

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nikola Zigic by Zoran Lesjak. Strike on goal comes in from Jean Beausejour from the free kick, blocked by Zoran Lesjak.

81:41

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Burke by Mitja Viler. Jean Beausejour delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Robert Beric manages to make a clearance.

80:45 Substitution

Substitution Robert Beric comes on in place of Ales Mertelj.

78:52 Goal scored

Goal! - Wade Elliott - NK Maribor 1 - 2 Birmingham A goal is scored by Wade Elliott from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Maribor 1-2 Birmingham.

78:02

Liam Ridgewell fouled by Marcos Tavares, the ref awards a free kick. Colin Doyle takes the direct free kick.

76:41

Mitja Viler produces a cross, clearance made by Jean Beausejour. Inswinging corner taken by Agim Ibraimi from the right by-line, Pablo Ibanez makes a clearance.

76:23

The ball is crossed by Mitja Viler, blocked by Jonathan Spector.

74:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jean Beausejour on Dejan Mezga. Martin Milec takes the free kick.

72:54

Wade Elliott takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.

70:32 Substitution

Substitution Goran Cvijanovic goes off and Agim Ibraimi comes on.

68:42

The ball is crossed by Chris Burke, Close range header by Nikola Zigic goes over the crossbar.

67:03

Corner taken right-footed by Martin Milec to the near post, Keith Fahey manages to make a clearance.

66:53

Dejan Mezga takes a shot. Blocked by Pablo Ibanez.

65:54

Wade Elliott takes a shot. Save made by Jasmin Handanovic.

65:33

The ball is swung over by Chris Burke.

64:49 Substitution

Substitution Nikola Zigic comes on in place of Marlon King.

63:48

The assist for the goal came from Marlon King.

63:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Chris Burke - NK Maribor 1 - 1 Birmingham Chris Burke scores a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Maribor 1-1 Birmingham.

62:40

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell by Dejan Mezga. Colin Doyle takes the free kick.

61:35

Foul by Jean Beausejour on Dalibor Volas, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Nejc Potokar.

59:41

Free kick crossed right-footed by Martin Milec from right channel. Dalibor Volas is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Colin Doyle.

59:41 Booking

Booking The referee shows Morgaro Gomis a yellow card.

59:37

Free kick awarded for a foul by Morgaro Gomis on Marcos Tavares.

58:47

The ball is crossed by Jean Beausejour, Nejc Potokar gets a block in. Corner taken by Wade Elliott from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Martin Milec.

58:15

Chris Burke produces a cross, save by Jasmin Handanovic.

57:31

Chris Burke delivers the ball.

54:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Caldwell on Dalibor Volas. Ales Mertelj restarts play with the free kick.

53:39

Dalibor Volas fouled by Pablo Ibanez, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mitja Viler.

52:15

Corner taken right-footed by Wade Elliott from the left by-line, Chris Burke takes a shot. Blocked by Soares Arghus.

52:08

The ball is delivered by Jonathan Spector, Jasmin Handanovic makes a save.

49:27

Effort by Ales Mertelj from a long way out goes over the crossbar.

45:55

Ales Mertelj takes a shot. Save by Colin Doyle.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +1:41 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +0:38

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Caldwell on Dalibor Volas. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Marcos Tavares.

43:20

Martin Milec takes the direct free kick.

43:20 Booking

Booking The referee shows Liam Ridgewell a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

43:15

Liam Ridgewell concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcos Tavares.

41:39

The assistant referee signals for offside against Liam Ridgewell. Jasmin Handanovic takes the indirect free kick.

41:17

Soares Arghus concedes a free kick for a foul on Marlon King. Free kick taken by Wade Elliott.

40:29

Steven Caldwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Dalibor Volas. Dalibor Volas takes the free kick.

39:20

Chris Burke takes a shot. Jasmin Handanovic makes a save. Jean Beausejour has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

39:09

Marlon King takes a shot. Blocked by Soares Arghus.

35:35

Wade Elliott delivers the ball, blocked by Soares Arghus.

34:27

Marlon King concedes a free kick for a foul on Soares Arghus. Mitja Viler takes the direct free kick.

32:58

Marcos Tavares has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.

32:22

Foul by Marlon King on Martin Milec, free kick awarded. Jasmin Handanovic restarts play with the free kick.

31:05

Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Milec on Jean Beausejour. Free kick crossed by Wade Elliott, clearance made by Zoran Lesjak.

28:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Dalibor Volas - NK Maribor 1 - 0 Birmingham Dalibor Volas grabs a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Maribor 1-0 Birmingham.

27:37

Shot from just outside the box by Marlon King goes over the target.

26:06

Dalibor Volas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Caldwell. Colin Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

25:31

The ball is crossed by Chris Burke. Effort from just outside the area by Keith Fahey goes over the target.

24:34

Dejan Mezga takes a shot. Save by Colin Doyle.

22:04

Foul by Marlon King on Zoran Lesjak, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Zoran Lesjak.

21:11

Goran Cvijanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Fahey. Liam Ridgewell takes the direct free kick.

19:11

Outswinging corner taken by Dejan Mezga from the right by-line, Zoran Lesjak takes a shot. Steven Caldwell gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Dejan Mezga from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Steven Caldwell.

18:53

Dejan Mezga fouled by Marlon King, the ref awards a free kick. Ales Mertelj takes the free kick.

18:20

Dalibor Volas has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

17:17

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Goran Cvijanovic.

17:06

Goran Cvijanovic takes a shot. Save made by Colin Doyle.

15:35

The assistant referee signals for offside against Chris Burke. Indirect free kick taken by Jasmin Handanovic.

14:37

Ales Mertelj concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Liam Ridgewell crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Zoran Lesjak.

13:19

Effort from deep inside the area by Marcos Tavares misses to the left of the target.

12:57

The ball is delivered by Mitja Viler.

10:27

Corner taken right-footed by Wade Elliott, Liam Ridgewell takes a shot. Jasmin Handanovic makes a save.

9:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Milec on Jean Beausejour. Free kick crossed right-footed by Keith Fahey, clearance made by Soares Arghus.

9:06

Unfair challenge on Wade Elliott by Dejan Mezga results in a free kick. Morgaro Gomis takes the direct free kick.

7:15

Marcos Tavares takes a shot. Colin Doyle makes a save.

6:11

The ball is crossed by Jean Beausejour, Marlon King takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.

5:27

Martin Milec delivers the ball, save by Colin Doyle.

4:46

Zoran Lesjak fouled by Wade Elliott, the ref awards a free kick. Nejc Potokar takes the direct free kick.

3:44

Marcos Tavares takes a shot. Save made by Colin Doyle.

0:36

The referee gives a free kick against Keith Fahey for handball. Ales Mertelj has an effort direct from the free kick.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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