Tuesday 20 February 2018

Cork held on home patch

Cork City 1 KR Reykjavik 1

Billy Dennehy, Cork City FC, in action against Aron Bjarki Jósepsson, KR Reykjavik
Billy Dennehy, Cork City FC, in action against Aron Bjarki Jósepsson, KR Reykjavik
Kevin O'Connor, Cork City FC, in action against Aron Bjarki Jósepsson KR Reykjavik
Ross Gaynor, Cork City FC, in action against Frederiksen Soren, KR Reykjavik

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

A crowd of 4,641 supporters, including 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 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.

Cork City - M McNulty, A Bennett, D Dennehy, C Healy (Murray 66), K O'Connor, B Dennehy, L Miller, G Buckley, J O'Flynn (O'Sullivan 59), R Gaynor (Dunleavy 46), K Sheppard.

KR Reykjavik - Magnusson, Steenberg, , Lorenzo, (Josepsson 29), Fridgeirsson, Gunnarsson, Savarsson, Palmason, Ormarsson (Ragnarsson 73), Frederiksen, Schoop, Hauksson (Martin 68).

Ref - M-K Kristoffersen (Denmark)

Irish Independent

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