Shamrock Rovers left with work to do after CL first-leg loss in Iceland


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Shamrock Rovers slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Breidablik in the first leg of their Champions League first-round qualifying tie at Tallaght Stadium.

The Icelanders, who came through two preliminary round matches, made a lively start in Dublin as a header from Faroe Islands striker Klaemint Olsen forced Leon Poehls into a smart reaction save.

The Hoops went close when Dylan Watts fired over before Breidablik keeper Anton Ari Einarsson was alert to save from Rory Gaffney.

Breidablik took the lead six minutes before half-time following a well-worked free-kick around 25 yards out. The ball was rolled to defender Damir Muminovic, who fired it through the wall and past Poehls into the top corner.

Rovers, who reached the Europa Conference League group stages last season, looked to get back on level terms ahead of the break as Gaffney’s shot hit the side-netting.

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley after defeat in the Champions League first qualifying round first leg against Breidablik
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley after defeat in the Champions League first qualifying round first leg against Breidablik

Following the restart, Watts’ effort from the edge of the penalty area was charged down before Rovers substitute Graham Burke forced Einarsson into another save just after the hour mark.

The League of Ireland champions continued to press and created chances in the closing stages when Sean Kavanagh saw his half-volley fly off target before his late goal-bound effort was well saved.

Stephen Bradley’s side now have it all to do if they are to overturn the deficit next week in Iceland and progress to a second-round qualifying tie against Copenhagen.

Tuesday’s other Champions League first qualifying round ties…

  • Banants Yerevan 0-1 Zrinjski Mostar
  • Lincoln Red Imps1-2 Qarabag FK
  • VMFD Zalgiris 0-0 FC Struga
  • Hamrun Spartans 0-4 Maccabi Haifa
  • Olimpija Ljubljana 2-1 Valmiera
  • Raków Czestochowa 1-0 FC Flora Tallinn
  • Ballkani 2-0 Ludogorets
  • KI Klaksvík 0-0 Ferencvaros
  • Partizani Tirane1-1 BATE Borisov

What are the key dates for the 2023/24 season?

The Premier League season will kick off on the weekend of August 11-13 and conclude nine months later on May 19 2024.

A mid-season player break will take place between January 14-20 and, in order to address the congested schedule across Christmas and New Year, no two rounds in this period will take place within 48 hours of each other.

Meanwhile, the Carabao Cup final will take place on Sunday February 25, the Europa League final will be held in Dublin on May 22 and the Champions League final will be played at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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