Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bohs flattened by Thor hammering

Thor Akureyri 5
Bohemians 1
(Thor won 5-1 on aggregate)
Europa League qualifier

Sigurdur Kristjansson scored a hat-trick as Bohemians suffered shuddering humiliation in northern Iceland.

On an uncanny night in the far north Atlantic, the game started encouragingly for Bohs as they dominated the opening half-hour.

But it all went horribly wrong in a 15-minute spell either side of half-time, as dreadful defending was clinically punished and they suffered an embarrassment to perhaps surpass their 4-0 loss to Welsh side TNS two years ago.

Dave Scully had put Bohemians deservedly in front on 23 minutes as they started the match most encouragingly.

But a slip by skipper Owen Heary gifted Kristjansson the equaliser before a badly defended corner gave Thor the lead through Orri Hjaltalin.

Teenager Kevin Feely put through his own goal early in the second half as a night that started so well for Bohemians turned ugly.

Man-of-the-match Kristjansson then rubbed their noses in it with two more goals late on to complete his hat-trick as the second division Icelanders, on their debut in Europe, waltzed into the second round.


Quietly confident going into the game, Bohemians started brightly, probing early on to create the first opening of the night on eight minutes.

A mistake by Thor right-back Andri Albertsson set up Peter McMahon, whose dipping volley was comfortably taken by 'keeper Srdjan Rajkovic.

McMahon, who had a goal wrongly disallowed in the first leg, then worked Rajkovic a little more from further out three minutes later.

Struggling to get into the game, a poor back header by Ryan McEvoy gave Thor their first sight of goal on 19 minutes. Evan McMillan saved McEvoy's blushes when galloping back to make a superb tackle on Thor skipper Sveinn Jonsson.

On a sunny and humid evening, the conditions were surprisingly sapping. But Bohs were enjoying all the ball, knocking it around confidently. And it led to their lead goal on 23 minutes.

McEvoy swept the ball wide left for Luke Byrne who pushed it on to Martin. Rajkovic hadn't looked safe in Dublin with some unsure handling and he duly spilled Martin's low cross. The alert Scully scooped the loose ball to the net.

Looking in full control now, Keith Buckley was put clean through six minutes later. Rajkovic redeemed himself with a decent stop with his feet to concede the first corner of the night.

An unfortunate slip by Heary allowed Thor right back into the game nine minutes before the interval.

The Bohemians captain lost his footing in attempting to clear a header from Guiseppe Funicello and Kristjansson blasted to the top corner of the net from just inside the area.

Clearly rattled, it got worse for Bohemians three minutes later when they conceded a needless corner. The ball was whipped in by Kristjansson and Orri Hjaltalin scored with a bullet header.

The mistakes just kept coming for Bohemians, though, and Thor got a third from an own goal five minutes into the second half as they failed again to defend a corner. Kristjansson put the ball into the area and 19-year-old Feely headed into his own net.

A miraculous double save prevented Bohemians getting back into the game on 63 minutes.

Rajkovic somehow blocked McEvoy's diving header after a terrific cross from Heary. Hjaltalin forced McEvoy's follow-up out for a corner.

But that was as good as it was too get for sorry Bohemians as they conceded a fourth goal on 73 minutes.

Armann Aevarsson broke down the right to cross and Kristjansson controlled the ball, took his time, and rifled it to the net.

Bohemians' misery endured until the death as Kristjansson got his hat-trick in the third minute of stoppage time, shooting home from a tight angle after Andy McNulty parried his first shot.

Irish Independent

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