Kyle McLagan and Vikingur continued their historical European run with an aggregate win over The New Saints while Christian Cappis notched an assist for Brøndby as they easily downed Pogon Szczecin in Europa Conference League qualifying.
Víkingur Reykjavík 0 – 0 The New Saints (agg. 2-0)
Kyle McLagan and Vikingur held Welsh champions The New Saints to a scoreless draw in Park Hall Stadium on Tuesday night, securing their passage to the third qualifying round.
The American started on the left side of a three-man back-line, playing the full 90 minutes as they limited their hosts to less than half of total possession, and easily held on to their 2-0 advantage from the first leg.
Winger Danny Redmond came close for the hosts when his header flew wide within two minutes of the opening whistle, then center forward Declan McManus saw his effort deflected for a corner in the ninth minute.
McLagan had an attempt late in the first half, however keeper Connor Robert was up to the task making an easy save.
The Saints did make a late desperate push as the second half wound down, with McManus coming close in the 83rd minute, only to see his effort saved by Ingvar Jónsson. However, the Vikings held strong, with the final whistle confirming the scoreless second-leg draw.
The result propels Vikingur into the third qualification round, where they will face Polish team Lech Poznań over two legs in on August 4 and 11, with the first taking place in Reykjavík.
Sligo Rovers 2 – 0 FC Motherwell (agg. 3-0)
Joe Efford played the final 20 minutes plus injury time for Motherwell as they tried to come back against Irish team Sligo Rovers, however a shut-out loss saw their short European campaign come to a crashing halt.
The Scottish team was already playing with a one-goal disadvantage from the first leg, and were effectively put out of contention after four minutes when Shane Blaney blasted a 25-yard free kick to the upper right corner to double the aggregate advantage.
Facing a two-goal deficit, the visitors had few answers on the attacking end, and were lucky on several occasions to not see the Rovers’ advantage grow even larger.
Efford entered the game in an attacking role in the 69th minute in place of left winger Ross Tierney, and did have an attempt in the 75th, however his volley was well over the crossbar.
With the tie winding down, the Irish side added one last goal for emphasis in second-half injury time, Max Mata running onto a fine through-ball from Aiden Keena and targeting a line just inside the left post for the 3-0 aggregate win.
Motherwell and Efford are out of European competition, however begin their Scottish Premiership season on Sunday with a visit to St. Mirren.
Brøndby IF 4 – 0 Pogon Szczecin (agg. 5-1)
Christian Cappis played the full 90 minutes for Brøndby as they welcomed Polish opposition Pogon Szczecin, and his assist on the team’s third goal helped them to easily sail into the next round of qualification with a thumping victory.
The two teams came into the game on even terms after a 1-1 draw in Szczecin the week before, however the Danes took care of business in the first half with a pair of goals, then added two more for emphasis after the break.
Shortly past the quarter-hour mark, Simon Hedlund was tripped up streaking into the right side of the area, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot, and Hedlund converting from the spot for the lead.
Hedlund then added a second goal in the 33rd minute, intercepting a wayward pass from the right flank, and firing from just inside the penalty area to put Brøndby in a safe position to advance.
Six minutes into the second half, Cappis had his moment of glory, receiving the ball inside of his own half and storming towards the Pogon goal, before threading the needle with a pinpoint through ball to Mathias Kvistgaarden for an acrobatic lunging finish between the keeper’s legs.
Then two minutes past the hour, Marko Divkovic added a fourth for his team, receiving a cross from the wing and displaying excellent ball-control to create an angle on the turn before chipping the keeper.
Brøndby’s European campaign continues with two legs against Swiss team Basel on Aug. 4 and 11, however they must momentarily return to their young domestic campaign this weekend where they visit Silkeborg on Sunday.
Sam Vines was a 93rd-minute garbage-time substitute for Royal Antwerp on Thursday night, as their 2-0 road win over KF Drita Gjilan was enough to see them advance to the third round of qualification by the same aggregate scoreline. They will face Norwegians Lillestrøm in the third round, with the first leg in Norway next Thursday.
19 year-old American Tyler Taber was not in uniform for RFC Union Luxembourg on Thursday night as a 4-0 road loss to Cukaricki Belgrade saw their short European campaign end with an 8-1 aggregate loss. RFC Union begin their domestic season on August 7, and Taber will be looking to push into the first team after a few bench appearances and a couple of cameos last season.