Champions League second qualifying round first leg

The New Saints 0

FC Copenhagen 2


The New Saints face an uphill task in Denmark in their Champions League second qualifying round second leg after defeat against FC Copenhagen at Park Hall.

An early goal in both halves from Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov was enough for the Danes, but failed to tell the full tale as Saints spurned chances.

It was a bright start for the Saints who enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in the opening few minutes.

Ryan Brobbell was presented with a good chance early on as he broke into the area, but fired his half-volley over the bar in the second minute.

The biggest chance of the opening 15 minutes fell to the visitors however, when a corner found its way across the six-yard box but was missed by both the Saints defenders and the Danes.

However, it took just another three minutes for the Danish champions to break the deadlock and grab an all-important away goal.

Good play down the right of the pitch ended in a cross from Karlo Bartolec finding Sotiriou at the near post who tucked the ball away past Paul Harrison.

Most of the first half was all Copenhagen, until Saints had a good spell of passes which culminated in Adrian Cieslewicz cutting into the box and firing a right-footed shot just wide of the top right-hand corner.

Exactly like the first half, the hosts started well after the break with Simon Spender breaking down the right on a few occasions to deliver crosses which were dealt with well by Copenhagen.

But again, it was the visitors who dealt a lethal blow when referee Alexander Harkam awarded a dubious penalty in the 58th minute for a foul against Keston Davies on Sotiriou.

After a few minutes of treatment for the injured forward, Skov held his nerve and fired past Harrison to the delight of the noisy Danish faithful.

With around 20 minutes left, Ruscoe’s men looked to turn things up a gear and forced some last-ditch defending from their visitors, with Daniel Redmond and Jamie Mullan sending dangerous crosses into the area.

But Mullan, in the dying seconds, almost halved the lead when he fired narrowly over from 20 yards out as it looked like TNS were settling for a two-goal deficit.


The New Saints: Harrison, Spender, Davies, Routledge, Brobbell, Redmond, Cieslewicz (Nembhard, 75), Mullan, Ebbe (Draper, 56), Edward, Harrington

Subs: Roberts, Marriott, Hughes, Draper, Nembhard, Byrne, Whitehouse