Maguire on the spot to give Cork edge in all-Ireland clash
Cork City took a big step towards the next round with this impressive win at Windsor Park last night.
Linfield 0 Cork City 1
A 62nd-minute penalty from Sean Maguire gives Cork a crucial away goal advantage going into next Thursday's second leg in Turner's Cross.
This was just the second meeting of the clubs, with Linfield winning the previous clash in the 2007 Setanta Cup semi-final in Belfast.
The two clubs had finished runners-up in their leagues last season, also losing domestic cup finals, with the home side losing out in the decider to Glenavon 53 days ago in their last competitive outing.
Despite being out of season, Linfield started the brighter and forced three early corners, while striker Paul Smyth headed over Mark McNulty's crossbar from inside the six-yard box, when it seemed easier to score in the 22nd minute.
At the other end, a long-range effort from Steven Beattie forced Linfield's debutant goalkeeper Roy Carroll to tip the danger away. The former Manchester United keeper had just returned from Euro 2016 duty with Northern Ireland and was making his first start since signing from Notts County a month ago.
It was a special night for both goalkeepers, as Cork's McNulty was making his 100th consecutive appearance for his club.
The big breakthrough for the Leesiders came just after the hour mark. Steven Dooley was brought down in the penalty area by Stephen Lowry and Maguire beat Carroll with a strike straight down the middle.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage when a Kenny Browne header from a Dooley corner was headed off the line as a fitter Cork side finished strongly to record their fourth away victory in Europe.
Linfield - Carroll; Quinn, Stafford, Haughey, Glendenning; Millar (Clarke 83), Lowry, Mulgrew (Kee 55), Gaynor; Smyth (Burns 67); Waterworth.
Cork - McNulty; O'Connor, Browne, Bennett, Beattie;Sheppard (D Morrissey ht) Bolger, G Morrissey, Buckley (O'Sullivan 60), Dooley; Maguire (Healy 89).
Ref - B Vertenten (Bel)
Cork City 1