Cork City take big step towards next round of Europa League qualifying with crucial draw in Sweden
Hacken 1 Cork City 1
Cork CITY have given themselves every chance of reaching the third qualifying round of the Europa League for the first time after securing a draw and a vital away goal in Gothenburg.
Sean Maguire was once again the star man. The striker nailed his third penalty in the competition to date when Stephen Dooley was taken down just after the hour mark – with Hacken’s Baba Mensah sent off for the offence.
The Leesiders gave an excellent account of themselves overall but John Owoeri got the 10-man hosts back on level terms seven minutes from time.
“We played very well,” manager John Caulfield said. “We were disappointed to concede a goal. It was preventable.
“Before the match if someone had said 1-1, I’d have taken it. The way it went, we’re disappointed because we felt we could have won 1-0. The game is still 50-50.”
Cork took the game to the Swedes from the outset, and Maguire had an early goal disallowed for a handball in the build-up, much to the disappointment of the 60 or so City fans that made the journey.
Garry Buckley was then denied by the Hacken keeper when Alan Bennett headed a free-kick back across the area.
Cork kept probing, though, and were rewarded when Maguire raced clear and put Dooley in on goal. Mensah fouled him, Maguire converted the penalty.
But Hacken responded and forced a number of chances before Owoeri volleyed in when a free-kick was not cleared.
But it’s still advantage Cork ahead of Thursday’s return leg.
BK HACKEN – Abrahamsson; Mensah, Wahlstrom, Sudic, Arkivuo (Binaku 78); Schuller; Mohammed (J Andersson 66), Gustafsson, Ericsson (Savage 56), Paulinho; Owoeri.
CORK CITY – McNulty; McSweeney, Bennett, Browne, O’Connor; Bolger; Beattie (Sheppard 74), G Morrissey, Buckley (O’Sullivan 85), Dooley; Maguire (Healy 90).
REF – A Delerue (France)