Sligo Rovers out of Europa League after defeat to Rosenborg
Sligo manager John Coleman admits his side missed a ‘glorious opportunity’ to progress
Sligo Rovers’s Alan Keane and Seamus Conneely compete with Morten Gamst Pedersen of Rosenborg during their Europa League second qualifying round, second leg at the Showgrounds, Sligo. Photograph: Inpho
Rosenborg win 4-3 on aggregate
It was a better game and much more of a contest than Legia got against St Patrick’s Athletic in Tallaght on Wednesday night. It was, in its way, much more of a disappointment Sligo Rovers didn’t “forget to play” as the St Patrick’s manager Liam Buckley had suggested his players had.
Sligo led on the night and could have scored more. Ultimately, though, they were made to pay for their mistakes by a Rosenborg team with the experience and expertise to grab their chances.
“We’ve missed a glorious opportunity, there’s no doubt about it,” admitted manager John Coleman afterwards. “I have to pay tribute to Rosenborg because they’ve come here under immense pressure, and they should be beating Sligo, but on the evidence of tonight and last week you wouldn’t have known which was the bigger side.”
The Rovers boss went on to admit, though, that his own side “didn’t have quite enough” at critical moments in attack, their set-pieces had been “atrocious” and that he was bitterly disappointed with the way they had conceded the three goals.
At heart then, he seemed to know why Rosenborg looked like the bigger, better side on the night; they did what they had to do.
Finely-balance tieFor such a finely-balanced tie, the first half was amazingly open with both teams throwing themselves into attack whenever the opportunity arose.
Sligo were first off the mark, threatening before their opponents and scoring before them too but the Norwegians bounced back every time and many of their own attacks followed swiftly on from moves in which the locals had committed themselves heavily to the pursuit of a greater advantage. It was, in the end, the way the visitors won the game.
When the locals pushed forward, they generally did well, passing nicely, covering ground quickly and getting bodies forward from every area in support of the attack.
A little too often their decision-making or final ball around the edge of the area was poor but they still went close on a couple of occasions when another goal would have put them firmly in the driving seat, most notably with a David Cawley shot just before the break which Alexander Hansen did well to get across to.
Rovers ’ goal came just 13 minutes in when John Russell had done well to win the ball in midfield then kick off a passing move that involved both Paul O’Conor and Séamus Conneely before Alan Keane crossed low from the right, David Cawley got a touch and Danny North fired home from close range at the far post.