Ten-man Slovenia sink Faroes

Slovenia strengthened their hold on second place in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C as they defeated the Faroe Islands 2-0, despite playing for 65 minutes with ten men.

The score was 0-0 and there were 24 minutes on the clock when Marko Suler chopped down Christian Holst to earn a straight red card, but moments later, Slovenia took the lead. Valter Birsa whipped in a free-kick from the left and Tim Matavz fired a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.

They got a second a minute into the second half when the unfortunate Rogvi Baldvinsson headed into his own net from a corner. Two goals were all they would manage, though, against the group's whipping boys, who had conceded 13 goals in their previous three outings but spent most of the second half on the attack.

The hosts had begun brightly with chances for Christian Holst and Pol Justinussen early on, and Slovenia were yet to have a significant chance when Suler was dismissed. But losing a man seemed to wake the visitors up and they were quickly on the attack, with Robert Koren having a good shot blocked by Johan Davidsen moments before the opening goal.

Birsa fired narrowly wide just before half-time as Slovenia kept the Faroe Islands pressed back. The nature of the second goal was hard on the hosts, however, as Birsa's corner was turned in by Baldvinsson. Justinussen sought an instant response for the Islanders, but his shot was saved by Samir Handanovic.

Faroe Islands continued to press and Einar Hansen fired just wide before Hjalgrim Elttor missed the target from a good position. Atli Danielsen went closest for them in the 75th minute, but his powerful shot from 25 yards was pushed round the post by Handanovic.

Moments later Frodi Benjaminsen fired wide, while Christian Mouritsen's ambitious volley from 30 yards was also off target. Koren could have had the final say for Slovenia, but Jakup Mikkelsen held his shot.