Cork City carry red-hot form into Europe in stunning fashion
John Caulfield’s side will take two-goal advantage back to Turner’s Cross
Cork City’s Garry Buckley opens the scoring in the Europa League first qualifying round, first leg against Levadia Talinn at the Kadriorg Stadium. Photograph: Mailiis Ollino/Inpho
Levadia Tallinn 0 Cork City 2
Luc Tabi Maga’s red card followed immediately by Garry Buckley’s opening goal proved the turning point in a crucial 2-0 away win for Cork City against Levadia Tallinn, as the runaway league leaders took a giant step into the second qualifying round of the Europa League ahead of next week’s home leg at Turner’s Cross.
An away win is a precious commodity for League of Ireland clubs, however, and Steven Beattie’s gorgeous late strike was the icing on the cake as the Leesiders continue an incredible season with a record-equalling European away victory.
The Rebel Army may have not been exactly at their best in the opening half, but had the best of the chances, and an opening came as no huge surprise to a sizeable crowd in Pärunu.
Beattie’s late second punished Levadia and particularly Josep Krznaric, who had a gilt-edged chance to level proceedings with 15 minutes remaining, but Mark McNulty’s fine save, pushing his low drive onto the crossbar proved as valuable as either of the Cork City strikes.
FC LEVADIA TALLINN: S Lempets; I Dudarev, T Manga, M Podholijuzin, M Gando; J Krznaric, M Roosnupp (A Artjunin, 45+1 mins); P Marin (N Andreev, 72 mins), J Morelli, E Kobzar (I Teever, 88 mins); R Hunt.
CORK CITY: M McNulty; J Keohane, C McCormack, R Delaney, K O’Connor; G Bolger, G Buckley (A Campion, 74 mins), G Morrissey; K Sheppard (S Beattie, 67 mins), S Maguire, S Dooley (S Griffin, 80 mins).
Referee: J Burchardt (Den).