The second legs in the preliminary round of the 2020 UEFA Europa League took place this Thursday afternoon and evening.
Our Airtricity League side Shamrock Rovers are through to the next round of the Europa League following their two one victory over Norwegian side Brann in Tallaght Stadium tonight for a four three aggregate success. Things looked ominous when the visitors took a 57th minute lead but goals from Jack Byrne on 76 minutes and Gary O’Neill after 87 minutes secured victory and a date with Cypriot side Apollon Limassol with the first leg set for Tallaght Stadium at 8pm next Thursday evening.
Despite valiant performances in this evening’s second legs both Cork City and St Patrick’s Athletic have exited the competition. Following their disappointing two nil home defeat by FC Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg in Turner’s Cross last week, City scored early in both halves to level the tie but their hosts scored after sixty eight to end their hopes of progression. St Patrick’s Athletic also suffered a two nil home defeat last week against IFK Norrkoping of Sweden in Richmond Park and were unable to retrieve the situation with a two one defeat this evening.
Also in Europa League action on Thursday evening were Ballymena United who suffered a crushing seven nil first leg defeat by Malmo in Sweden last week and a further four nil defeat tonight. Crusaders secured a two nil success against B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands in their home first leg last week and progressed to a 2nd qualifying round meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers with a three two victory this evening. Cliftonville, who suffered a one nil home defeat by FK Haugesund of Norway, went down to a disappointing five one defeat in this evening’s second leg.
Welsh representatives Connah’s Quay Nomads went down to a two one home defeat by Scottish qualifiers Kilmarnock in the first leg and were not expected to progress from this evening’s second leg in Rugby Park but they stunned their hosts with a two nil victory and a date with Partizan Belgrade of Serbia in the second qualifying round next week. Aberdeen secured a two one home victory over RoPS Rovaniemi of Finland at Pittodrie in their first leg and reprised that scoreline this evening in Lapland to set up a second round meeting with Chikhura Sachkhere of Georgia next week. The third Scottish representatives Glasgow Rangers secured a six nil victory over St Josephs of Gibraltar at Ibrox Stadium for a ten nil aggregate success and a date with Progres Niederkom of Luxembourg, conquerors of Cork City.