Disappointment for clubs in Europa League
6 July 2017

Disappointment for clubs in Europa League

It was a disappointing return on results in the first qualifying round second leg matches in the UEFA Europa League as Bala Town, Bangor City and Connah's Quay Nomads were all eliminated from the competition.

Connah's Quay had given themselves the best chance of progression after taking a 1-0 lead to Finland but it wasn't to be. Meanwhile, Bala Town and Bangor City were comfortably beaten by their opponents. 

HJK Helsinki 3-0 Connah’s Quay Nomads (3-1 on aggregate)

Despite their first-leg heroics, Connah’s Quay Nomads bowed out of the UEFA Europa League as HJK Helsinki comfortably ran out 3-0 winners to progress to the second qualifying round.

HJK are currently top of the Finnish First Division and took the lead on 11 minutes through Moshtagh Yaghoubi via a free kick.

A second goal was added just after the half hour mark after Demba Savage set-up Akseli Pelvas to score his first of two goals.

At this point, an solitary away goal would have been enough to take the Nomads through with the score 2-1 on aggregate, however, Pelvas pounced again in the second half during the 55th minute.

Connah’s Quay had their chances with a total of seven attempts on goal, but Ryan Wignall, George Horan and Michael Wilde all saw their efforts denied. 

FC Vaduz 3-0 Bala Town (5-1 on aggregate)

JD Welsh Cup winners Bala Town, went to Vaduz hoping that they could overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first-leg, however, the Lakesiders chances were dashed after 22 minutes when Aldin Turkes broke the deadlock.

Turkes bagged his brace on 39 minutes  after receiving the ball from Robin Kamber to make it 2-0.

Before the half-time interval, Vaduz scored again through Marco Mathys in confusing circumstances, as Bala were attempting to make a substitution at the time.

The Lakesiders were tighter in the second half and denied their hosts anymore goals on the scoresheet but went close to scoring a consolation on several occasions late in the game.

Kieran Smith came close with one effort but it was palmed away by the Vaduz goalkeeper for a corner and a spectacular strike from David Thompson went over the cross bar. 

Action from FC Vaduz v Bala Town [Pic: Bala Town FC]
Action from FC Vaduz v Bala Town [Pic: Bala Town FC]

Bangor City 0-3 Lyngby BK (0-4 on aggregate) 

With a capacity crowd and glorious weather welcoming Bangor City to the Bangor University Stadium’s pristine pitch, the stage was set for a triumphant evening of football – unfortunately for the Citizens, however, they weren’t quite able to take that opportunity as they came up against a very strong Lyngby side who brought their best form with them on the flight over from Denmark.

In such conditions, what Bangor needed was a strong start, but the visitors were ahead on the night – doubling their lead on aggregate – after just three minutes, when a defensive mistake allowed Kristoffer Larsen to steal possession and curl a shot beyond a hapless Connor Roberts, who was badly let down by his defenders, and Lyngby had a dream start under their belt.

As the Citizens started to build a foothold in the game after the 15-minute mark, Dean Rittenberg and Danny Gosset in particular were at the heart of Bangor’s more positive moments, with the former starting to cause the visiting defence a few problems before Lyngby burst down the other end on 37 minutes and Jeppe Kjaer buried a cut-back in the back of the net to make it 2-0 and give The Vikings a 3-0 aggregate lead.

Living dangerously on a booking, Thomas Guldborg Christensen made a strong tackle with 42 minutes played that left Dean Rittenberg in a heap on the floor and had City fans calling for a second booking and sending off. However, the referee didn’t give Christensen so much as a talking to and the Danes still had 11 men on the pitch. The sucker-punch came moments later, when Larsen notched his brace moments before half-time, finishing off what was a beautiful move by the visitors to give them a 4-0 aggregate lead.

Whilst The Citizens improved in the second half, the visitors squandered a handful of glorious chances to extend their lead further, as the game finished 3-0, with Lyngby advancing after winning the tie 4-0 on aggregate.