Shamrock Rovers Win On Night But Fail To Progress

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Shamrock Rovers ran out 2-1 winners in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round tie against Slovan Bratislava but were knocked out of the competition, losing 3-2 on aggregate.

Stephen Bradley’s side needed to overturn a two-goal deficit but failed to progress in front of their fans in Tallaght Stadium.

Rovers started on the backfoot with Bratislava getting the early chances courtesy of Ezekiel Henty but came into the game quickly with Danny Mandriou offering creative ability between the lines.

Graham Burke slotted home a 15th-minute penalty to fuel the belief inside the stadium after being brought down inside the box.

Gary O’Neill, who played Burke through for his chance, was a figure of inspiration in the opening half for Rovers, who prioritised attack throughout the game.

Bratislava struggled to get a foothold after their first 10 minutes and went in at half-time looking very beatable.

Rovers came out in the second half playing with the same intent and came close several times in the first 15 minutes of the half.

Bratislava attempted to sit back and snuff out any chances when Rovers players were in advanced positions but Richie Towell found a way through the sea of dark blue to level the tie.

However, less than ten minutes later, Vladimir Weiss (son and namesake of Slovan Bratislava manager Vladimir Weiss) grabbed the winning goal of the tie and sealed Rovers’ fate.

Shamrock Rovers centre-back Roberto Lopes claimed that he was fouled in the build-up

Lopes came closest to an equaliser but it wasn’t to be for Bradley’s league champions, who brought Aaron Greene on to freshen legs in the attack.

They will now be placed into the draw for the UEFA Europa Conference League Third Qualifying Round having been granted a bye.

The draw will take place next Monday.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Joey O’Brien (Sean Hoare 81), Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace; Ronan Finn, Richie Towell (Aaron Greene 84), Gary O’Neill (Dylan Watts 72), Danny Mandroiu, Liam Scales; Rory Gaffney, Graham Burke.

Slovan Bratislava: Adrián Chovan; Jurij Medveděv, Guram Kashia, Vasil Bozhikov, Vernon De Marco; David Hrnčár (Aleksandar Čavrić 59), Jaba Kankava, Joeri de Kamps (Myenty Abena 90), Rafael Ratão (Jaromír Zmrhal 82); Vladimír Weiss (Alen Mustafić 90); Ezekiel Henty (Rabiu Ibrahim 59).

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