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Shamrock Rovers show their class with victory over Brann in Europa League

 

Celebrations all round in Tallaght as Rovers battle past SK Brann in yet another fantastic night for #TheGreatestLeagueintheWorld!

 

The hosts started well, pressing from the front through Ronan Finn and Sean Kavanagh, with the latter delivering two excellent crosses into the danger area

 

Although the visitors dominated possession early on, Rovers looked that more dangerous going forward, with Jack Byrne picking up some nice little pockets of space in the midfield.

 

The best chance of the game came for the home side, again from the high pressing of Finn, who robbed last man Acosta Evans. The Rovers skipper quickly shifted the ball forward but could only strike straight at HakonOpdal in the SK Brann net.

 

The encounter became a war of attrition as the half wore on, which suited the home side at the time, but the visitors continued to remain a threat.

 

Disaster struck for the home side just before the hour mark as SK Brann went in front. Substitute KaramokoDaouda Bamba showed tremendous pace to latch onto to a flicked header from last weeks goal scorer VelonBerisha , rounding the on-rushing Alan Mannus before calmly slotting home to make it 3-2.

 

The visitors almost doubled their lead just ten minutes later when Berisha hit a clever low drive through Joey O’Briens legs, but Mannus was well placed to stop.

 

The game then turned on its head with the introduction of Dan Carr making an almost instant impact. The big front man battled well in the air from a long high ball, helping it down to Finn who brilliantly played in Byrne and with one of the touches of the game, swiveled and finished expertly past Opdal.

 

Carr was instrumental in the second, chasing a lost cause over the top to keep the ball alive. Showing great strength, he cut the ball back to Byrne who played in Gary O’Neill first time, and the ex-UCD man’s deflected effort made it 2-1 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate.

 

Stephen Bradley’s men held firm to progress to the second round of the UEFA Europa League, were they will face Apoel Nicosia.

Darryl Geraghty

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