Siroki Brijeg 0-2 Aberdeen

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Mackay-Steven knocked in a great second goal after making his Aberdeen debut last week

Greg Stewart and Gary Mackay-Steven scored second-half goals as Aberdeen beat Siroki Brijeg in Bosnia to progress in the Europa League.

With the first leg ending 1-1 at Pittodrie, the Dons needed to score and Stewart struck on 71 minutes.

His low strike was set up by Ryan Christie, who then delivered another great pass for Mackay-Steven to slam in a wonderful second goal.

Aberdeen will now meet Apollon Limassol in the third round of qualifying.

It will be the fourth season in a row that Derek McInnes’ side have reached the stage before the play-off round in this competition.

Stipo Markovic grabbed an away goal last week and Siroki Brijeg could boast a home record of just three defeats in two years, but the Dons have impressed on the road in recent years, with wins at Groningen and Rijeka.

There was an early scare for the visitors when Slavko Bralic rammed the ball narrowly wide from a corner.

But that was it in terms of chances in a dreadfully scrappy first half, punctuated by fouls and errant passes.

Dons captain Graeme Shinnie came in for some rough treatment and nothing was made of the resultant set-pieces, with the home defence comfortable under high balls.

Jayden Stockley was a surprise choice to lead the Aberdeen attack

With Anthony O’Connor looking shaky at the heart of the Aberdeen defence, there was another worry when Dejan Cabraja ran clear on to a long ball over the top only to take a woeful touch.

The second half opened with Andrew Considine throwing himself at a Christie free kick but the defender’s header lacked power and was easily gathered by goalkeeper Luka Bilobrk.

On the hour, the Dons fashioned two excellent opportunities to grab the goal they needed.

Christie stung the palms of Luka Bilobrk with a fierce shot and Stewart could only shank the loose ball wide under pressure from a sliding defender.

Mackay-Steven then picked out Christie with a lovely cross from the left but the on-loan Celtic midfielder powered his header wide, despite having time and space to pick his spot.

Considine was next to have a go, with a looping header dropping wide of the target.

Siroki Brijeg had fallen out of the game but it needed a smart save from Joe Lewis to push over a wonderfully executed volley from Ivan Krstanovic.

With 19 minutes remaining, Christie sent Stewart scurrying through a big gap on the right side of the home defence and the former Dundee forward buried a low shot in the far corner.

Christie was finding more space and, soon after, he was the creator again, cutting in from the right and slotting a delightfully weighted pass into the path of Mackay-Steven, who smacked home a rising shot to send the small pocket of travelling fans wild.

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