A historic away win for the Dons as they stood firm in the heat of Bosnia and Herzegovina to book their place in the next round against Apollon Limassol.
The Dons had to be patient against a cynical Siroki Brijeg but two goals in the final 18 minutes sealed a fantastic away win for Derek McInnes side.
With temperatures soaring, referee Michael Tykgaard sanctioned water breaks midway through each half for the teams and the conditions reinforced the size of the task facing the Dons.
Three times in Aberdeen’s history they have drawn the first leg of a European tie at Pittodrie. In all three second legs the Dons have failed to progress.
Despite this, manager Derek McInnes was full of confidence his side could get the result needed at Pecara Stadium to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League for the fourth year in a row.
McInnes needed a goal and it was reflected in his selection, with Jayden Stockley, who missed the first leg due to suspension, returning in place of the leading scorer for the past three seasons, Adam Rooney, who dropped to the bench.
The other change came in midfield where Greg Stewart came in for his first start for the club in place of Greg Tansey as McInnes matched Siroki Brijeg’s 4-3-3 formation.
The first leg had been a tense, nervous affair and the return was no different.
The home side forced an early corner before Ivan Krstanovic sent Luka Menalo’s low delivery just wide.
Aberdeen’s threat was down the flanks, with Stewart showing good control under pressure on the right, while Gary Mackay-Steven’s direct style led to him being double marked down the Dons left.
Siroki Brijeg head coach Goran Sablic made much of Aberdeen’s quality in wide areas prior to the game and it was evident in his side’s tactics of trying to keep the Dons as central as they possibly could.
They were determined to stifle Aberdeen as much as possible.
Four times Graeme Shinnie was tripped as soon as he collected the ball with each foul passing without a caution but when Shay Logan won the ball and drove forward, only to be tripped by Blues captain Josip Bansic, the Danish official’s patience ran out and the home side’s defender was booked.
It made for frustrating going for the Dons and Ryan Christie earned himself a caution for clipping Krstanovic’s heels as he tried to lead a breakaway before the home support jeered the referee’s decision to let play continue after Andy Considine’s challenge on Menalo. There appeared little contact from Considine but Menalo was determined to lay prone until he received treatment as the first half came to a close.
The card count continued to rise in the second half with Josip Coric and Krstanovic booked for fouls on Shinnie and Logan within two minutes of the restart.
It was ugly, stop-start stuff but the home side did not care. The Brijeg game plan was working. As for Aberdeen, it was becoming increasingly apparent a spark was required.
Christie collected a ball 30 yards from goal before turning and forcing Luko Bilobrk into action. The goalkeeper could only parry the shot before Stewart sent the rebound wide while under pressure from a Blues defender.
A ray of hope at last for the Dons and their first sustained period of pressure followed.
Mackay-Steven crossed for Christie, who headed past before Christie’s free kick was headed wide by Considine.
The goal would not come and McInnes sent Nicky Maynard on for the tiring Stockley but it was the home players who broke away and Joe Lewis made a superb save to push Krstanovic’s stinging 15-yard scissor kick volley over the crossbar.
The home side would come to rue Lewis’ save as Aberdeen finally found their way through 18 minutes from time.
Christie was the creator, with a fine through ball sending Stewart clear in the box and the on-loan Birmingham City slotted the ball past Bilobrk to give the Dons the priceless away goal they craved.
The goal to put the game beyond the home side followed six minutes from time and it was Christie who made it, cutting in from the right, evading two challenges then playing a superb ball through to Mackay-Steven and he hammered the ball high into the net to send Aberdeen through.