SHAMROCK ROVERS face an uphill task in attempting to qualify for the next round of the Europa League after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Norwegian outfit Odds Ball Klub at Tallaght Stadium last night.
The real frustration for Rovers will be borne from the fact that an unnecessary penalty concession and a straightforward corner secured the vital goals for the visitors.
For Damien Duff, sitting in the stand watching his new colleagues, this was another reminder of the delights of Irish weather compared to his Australian experience.
He initially had reason to be satisfied with what he was watching on the pitch as a Rovers started well against a team that finished third in the Norwegian league last term, but currently sit seventh in the table. They were combative in a tetchy affair with the Swiss match official Alain Rieri kept busy.
Territorially, Odds were spending more time in the opposition half, yet they lacked real creativity.
In truth, the best chances fell to Rovers. Gary McCabe already had a rasping shot saved by Sondre Rossbach and he picked out Ryan Brennan, with the Drogheda man's header across the box eventually falling to Kieran Marty Waters who fired over. After the break, Rovers' endeavours were almost rewarded when Mikey Drennan's powerful volley was pushed away by Rossbach.
The near miss became even more painful as Odds seized the initiative in the 52nd minute when Conor Kenna was deemed to have illegally halted Fredrik Nordkevlle's advance into the area. Canadian Olivier Occean adroitly slotted away the resultant penalty.
Odds doubled their lead when Occean rose above Dave Webster to power a header past Hyland.