On Thursday night Scottish Football could feel proud for one club – St Johnstone and utterly embarrassed for another Hibernian, as both had very different outcomes in their Europa League qualifying home legs.
Hibs are known for the famous five – but Malmo two-nil up from the first leg in Sweden hit them with a staggering SEVEN. Hibs knew overturning the two-goal deficit would be a difficult task, yet I’m unsure if any of the sixteen-thousand crowd saw this one coming. I assume not.
The Swedish visitors were in no mood to mess around although they were pressed much more than last week, Malmo put this tie to bed with four goals in twenty first-half minutes. Malmo took the lead with a good move down the left Eriksen scoring from a Rantie low cross. Hibs were dealt a further blow when Captain James McPake had to leave the match due to injury. Malmo remained relentless – Eriksen again causing problems hit the post, Forsberg the played a neat one-two with Thern and doubled the lead for Malmo. Halsti made it three-nil and three goals in nine first-half minutes as Hibs had no answer, Albornoz added a fourth before half time as he cut inside from the right and his shot hit the inside of the post and beat Williams.
Three goals in the second half compounded the embarrassing night for Hibs, Rantie, added a fifth as Williams couldn’t handle a shot from Hamad, Hamad himself added the sixth with a fine free-kick and substitute Kroon completed the scoring seven-nil and nine-nil on aggregate to Malmo which sent them crashing out red-faced.
St Johnstone however the polar opposite to Hibs grabbing a one-all in Trondheim with a header from Frazer Wright gave the Saints more than a decent chance of progression.
The 7,850 crowd inside McDermaid Park must have been thinking they were on course to be added to the long line of glorious Scottish failures- Rosenborg got their own away goal after four minutes as Alexander Soderlund put the Norwegians on an even footing. It didn’t take St Johnstone long too threaten with David Wotherspoon and Nigel Hasselbaink constant threats to the Rosenborg backline. Wotherspoon’s lofted pass caught out Mikael Dorsin and Stevie May nipped in to equalise and give the Saints a two-one aggregate lead.
The second half was mostly Rosenborg pressure, testing the Saints back four they had Stephen Anderson to thank for a number of blocks from Soderlund and Tobias Mikkelson, and the other chances created by Jonas Svensson didn’t really trouble Alan Mannus in the Saints net.
Near the end Jon Inge Hoiland could have put Rosenborg through but his weak effort squandered what was a glorious chance and St Johnstone held on to qualify to take on Minsk of Belarus next week, along with Mothewell who take on Russian side Kuban Krasnador. It was a terrific result for St Johnstone as not many gave Tommy Wright and his men a chance against a club with such a European pedigree, it means with the qualification St Johnstone have an unbeaten home record in Europe stretching back to 1971-72. If they manage to extend it against Minsk I wouldn’t bet against them heading further into the competition.
THURSDAY 25TH JULY 2013
Hibernian 0-7 Malmo (0-9 on agg)
Rubin Kazan 1-0 FK Jagodina (4-2 on agg)
Milsami Orhei 1-1 Shakhtyor (2-2 on agg – Milsami win 4-2 on pens)
FK AS Trencin 2-1 IFK Goteburg (2-1 on agg)
Minsk 2-0 Valletta (3-1 on agg)
Piast Gliwice 2-2 FK Qarabag (3-4 on agg)
MSK Zilina 2-0 Olimpija Ljubljana (3-3 on agg – Zilina win on away goals)
Rudar Pljevlja 2-2 Slask Wroclaw (2-6 on agg)
FK Turnovo 1-1 Hajduk Split (2-3 on agg)
AS Jeunesse Esch 1-4 Ventspils (1-5 on agg)
Chikhura Sachkhere 1-3 FC Thun (1-5 on agg)
Aktobe 2-0 Hodd (2-1 on agg)
Inter Baku 1-0 Tromso (1-2 on agg)
Pyunik 1-1 Zalgiris Vilnius (1-3 on agg)
FK Khazar Lenkoran 0-8 Maccabi Haifa (0-10 on agg)
Sturm Graz 0-1 Breidablik (0-1 on agg)
Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2-2 Beroe (6-3 on agg)
Gefle 4-0 Anorthosis Famagusta (4-3 on agg)
Hacken 1-0 Sparta Prague (3-2 on agg)
Omonia Nicosia 1-2 CSM Astra Ploiesti (2-3 on agg)
Liberec 1-0 Skonto FC (2-2 on agg – Liberec win on away goals)
Pandurii Targu-Jiu 4-0 Levadia Tallinn (4-0 on agg)
Dacia Chisinau 2-1 Chornomorets Odessa (2-3 on agg)
Botev Plovdiv 2-0 Zrinjski Mostar (3-1 on agg)
Inter Bratislava 0-1 Mladost Podgorica (2-3 on agg)
FC Utrecht 3-3 Differdange (4-5 on agg)
Lokomotiva Zagreb 2-3 Dinamo Minsk (4-4 on agg – Minsk win on away goals)
Vikingur 0-4 FC Petrolul Ploiesti (0-7 on agg)
Prestatyn Town 0-3 Rijeka (0-8 on agg)
AaB 0-0 Dila Gori (0-3 on agg)
Debrecen 0-3 Stromsgodset (2-5 on agg)
Standard Liege 3-1 KR Reykjavik (6-2 on agg)
Siroki Brijeg 2-0 Irtysh Pavlodar (4-3 on agg)
Lech Poznan 2-1 FC Honka (5-2 on agg)
St Johnstone 1-1 Rosenborg (2-1 on agg)
FK Sarajevo 0-0 Kukesi (2-3 on agg)
Linfield 1-2 FC Xanthi (2-2 on agg – Xanthi on away goals)
IBV Vestmannaeyjar 0-0 Red Star Belgrade (0-2 on agg)
Derry City 0-3 Trabzonspor (2-7 on agg)
Honved 1-3 Vojvodina (1-5 on agg)
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