Kyle McLagan and Vikingur FC

Kyle McLagan and Vikingur booked their spot in the first round proper of Champions League qualification, narrowly beating their Andorran hosts on Friday night to win the preliminary round mini-tournament.

Inter Club d’Escaldes 0 – 1 Vikingur Reykjavík

After blowing past their Estonian opponents three days earlier by a five-goal margin, the Icelandic champions had a considerably tougher time against Inter d’Escalades, however a goal midway through the second half by Kristall Máni Ingason was enough to get the job done.

McLagan played the full game in the center of Vikingur’s defense, committing three fouls over 90 minutes and earning a yellow card just before the hour mark.

While Escaldes had the better of chances in the first half, with a blocked shot from Sascha Andreu in the 34th minute coming closest, the Icelanders took control after the break.

A full stream of the game can be found here. McLagan initiates the goal sequence at 1:31:10.

Nikolaj Hansen fired just wide in the 65th minute when isolated with the keeper, and a strong team effort three minutes later put them into the lead.

Ari Sigurpalsson pulled down a long cross to the right of the penalty area and dribbled inside before dropping a short pass to Julias Magnusson. This drew all three of the right-sided defenders towards his direction, leaving Karl Fridleifur Gunnarsson completely free at the top right corner of the 18-yard box to receive his one-touch pass.

Gunnarsson then lofted a fine cross across the area, towards the left post where Ingason flew in to head it home for the lead.

The visitors kept the advantage, and came close several times in the closing 20 minutes, but their lone goal saw them awarded the preliminary round tournament trophy at the end of 90 minute, and at least another four games in their European run.

Vikingur have a pair of games in their domestic league, where they are currently third place, before returning to the next step of their European qualification run with a visit from Swedish champions Malmö FF on July 5. Seven days later they will visit Malmö for the second leg.

A win over Malmö will see them through to the second round, while a loss will drop them into Europa Conference League qualification.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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