Big away win for Shamrock Rovers brings up 100 wins for Irish sides in European competitions
Stjarnan 0 Shamrock Rovers 1
A first win in eight away European games has given Shamrock Rovers a great chance of advancing to the second qualifying round of the Europa League, Gary Shaw the hero for the Hoops in Iceland.
Rovers came back from their trip to face Stjarnan with a 1-0 win, thanks to a scrappy but important goal from Kildare man Shaw on 38 minutes, and barring a slip-up at home to the Icelandic side in the second leg in Dublin next week, Rovers will progress and take on Czech side Mlada Boleslav in the next round.
Stephen Bradley's side had to withstand some early pressure in front of a crowd of 1,020 in Gardabaer, an audience which included Iceland's Prime Minister, but gradually took control of the game, took the lead on 38 minutes when Shaw stabbed home after Dave Webster's headed effort from Brandon Miele's corner, and remained in control.
Keeper Tomer Chencinski was needed to deny Stjarnan dangerman Josef Joseffson on 70 minutes, and Rovers had to absorb some pressure in those final 20 minutes without being threatened too much, and with Dave Webster and Roberto Lopes controlling things in central defence and Ronan Finn pulling the strings in midfield on the occasion of his 30th appearance in European competition, Rovers were disciplined and are now in the driving seat in the tie.
Rovers win meant that Irish clubs have now recorded 100 victories in European competitions.
STJARNAN: Bjornsson; J Laxdal (Aegisson, 87 mins), D Laxdal, Gudjonsson, Josefsson; Hauksson, Sigurdsson, Hedinsson; Fridjonsson (Finsen, 81 mins), Baldvinsson, Halldorsson.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chensinski; Madden, Lopes Webster, Byrne; Miele, Finn, Connolly (Bone, 74 mins), Clarke; Burke (McAllister, 81 mins); Shaw (O’Connor, 87 mins).
Referee: Tomasz Musial (Poland)