herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Rovers just fail to beat Odds despite battling performance

Odds BK 2 Shamrock Rvs 1 (4-1 on agg)

David Webster, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Chukwuma Akabueze, Odds Ballklubb. UEFA Europa League, Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg, Odds Ballklubb v Shamrock Rovers. Odd Stadium, Skien, Norway. Picture credit: Anders Hoven / SPORTSFILE
David Webster, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Chukwuma Akabueze, Odds Ballklubb. UEFA Europa League, Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg, Odds Ballklubb v Shamrock Rovers. Odd Stadium, Skien, Norway. Picture credit: Anders Hoven / SPORTSFILE

Late strikes from Ole Jorgen Halvorsen and Steffen Hagen were more than sufficient for Odds BK to end Shamrock Rovers' Europa League hopes at the Skagerak Arena.

Rovers craved the first goal of the game, but in truth it never looked like coming their way as a measured Odds performances saw the Norwegians comfortably through to meet Elfsborg of Sweden in the third qualifying round.

The only consolation for Rovers on the night came from Gavin Brennan's last minute goal.

Save for an even opening period when Ryan Brennan headed wide from a Gary McCabe free kick, Odds dominated the first half, Rovers' first scare arriving on 14 minutes.

Halvorsen broke on the right to feed the run of Oliver Berg whose low pullback was well cut out by Luke Byrne.

Odds should have been two goals up inside five minutes of the re-star, with Halvorsen's cross somehow scooped over the bar by Zekhnini.

Odds made the breakthrough on the night on 71 minutes. Byrne's weak header was picked up by Samuelsen who crossed for Halvorsen to drill home.

Hagen added the second on 85 minutes with a powerful header.

Rovers got some joy right on 90 minutes. Madden's deep cross was knocked back by Danny North and Gavin Brennan swept the ball home.

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