Sligo Rovers produced a fantastic display to secure a nil all draw away to Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League third round qualifier.
Last season’s double cup winners could have secured a vital away goal but for the cross-bar. Alan Kirby pouncing on some poor Poltava defending from a Raffaele Cretaro cross to rattle the ball against the home side cross-bar.
Roles were reversed minutes later when Kirby’s knockdown was blasted over by Cretaro as Sligo took the game to their hosts. However in the end Paul Cook’s men were denied a second ever European win, although a strong defence which has been a trademark of their season ensured that they kept a clean sheet, and will head into next week’s home clash in confident mood.
Meanwhile St Patricks Athletic will have it all to do if they are to progress further in Europe this season after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Karpaty Lviv. Like Rovers, Pete Mahon’s side were up against Ukrainian opposition however they left the former USSR state with a mountain to climb following a late second goal in injury time.
Having overcome 1-0 and 2-1 deficit’s in Europe this year Mahon now needs his players to score two goals or more at Richmond Park next week to avoid crashing out of Europe.
St Pats looked set for a narrow one nil defeat, courtesy of Artem Fedetskiy first half effort however a free kick from Andrei Voronkov means that that pressure is now on the Inchicore side.
Meanwhile Jon Walter’s 3rd minute header ensured that Stoke were the only British and Irish winners on the night. The Republic of Ireland striker meeting Matthew Etherington’s cross to give Stoke a win on their return to Europe after a 37 year absence.
Finally Fulham manager Martin Jol will be quietly confident of progressing further in the Europa league after his side managed a 0-0 away to Croatian outfit RNK Split. The home side had the better of the chances but Fulham held on and will be favourites to progress at craven cottage next week.
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