Saturday 17 March 2018

Cork City six games without a win in Europe as they're held to draw in Turner's Cross

Cork City 1-1 KR Reykjavik

Kevin O'Connor, Cork City FC, in action against Aron Bjarki Jsepsson KR Reykjavik. UEFA Europa League
Kevin O'Connor, Cork City FC, in action against Aron Bjarki Jsepsson KR Reykjavik. UEFA Europa League

Ryan Kelly

John Caulfield’s Cork City are now six games without a win in Europe after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Icelandic outfit KR in their historic return to the Europa League.

A crowd of 4,641 supporters, including Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, crammed into Turner's Cross as City made their first appearance in Europe since 2008, but despite their best efforts, the hosts could not find a win.

After a frenetic opening, City struck first blood on 19 minutes. Billy Dennehy’s deftly flighted free kick was diverted into the back of the net by the head of captain Alan Bennett.

The Leesiders had gone close a minute earlier when Karl Sheppard got on the end of Kevin O’Connor’s cross from the left and looked like they had the measure of their opponents. However, KR roared back into the game and 10 minutes later they clinched the equaliser. The diminutive Oskar Hauksson nipped in at the back post to blast a header well beyond the reach of Mark McNulty.

Having secured an away goal, KR were far from content to sit back and play for the draw. Hauksson and Jacob Schoop linked up well for the visitors and the latter went close before half-time with a drive from the edge of the area.

There were cries for a Cork City penalty with 10 minutes remaining when Mark O’Sullivan appeared to have been pushed over in the area, but referee Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersson was not interested, much to the chagrin of the City supporters, who responded with deafening jeers.

Cork City: Mark McNulty, Alan Bennett, Darren Dennehy, Colin Healy (Murray 66), Kevin O'Connor, Billy Dennehy, Liam Miller, Garry Buckley, John O'Flynn (O’Sullivan 59), Ross Gaynor (Dunleavy 46), Karl Sheppard

KR Reykjavik: Magnusson Stegan Logi, Steenberg Christiansen Rasmus, Lorenzo Gonzalo Balbi (Josepsson 29),  Fridgeirsson Skuli Jon, Gunnarsson Gunnar Thor, Savarsson Jonas Gudni, Palmason Palmi Rafn, Ormarsson Almar (Ragnarsson 73), Frederiksen Soren, Schoop Jacob,  Hauksson Oskar (Martin 68)

Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (Denmark)

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