EL QR1
Date: 7:45 p.m. July 9, 2015
Venue: Richmond Park
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Scored: 37'
- Vladislavs Sorokins 37'

Peno Scored: 59'
- Arturs Karasausks 59'



Europa League report: St. Patrick's Athletic 0-2 Skonto Riga

Fri, Jul 10 2015

Chris Forrester battles for possession in Pats' defeat this evening. Credit: Michael P Ryan

Having deservedly built up a strong reputation in European competition - St. Pat's played three rounds in Europe in the four consecutive seasons up to 2013 - this costly 2-0 second-leg defeat for the Saints against Skonto Riga saw them exit Europe at the first hurdle for the third year running, courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate defeat to the Latvian side.

 

Trailing 2-1 from the away leg in Riga, Pat's difficult task in Richmond Park was compounded when they went 1-0 down in this second-leg eight minutes from half-time when Vladislavs Sorokins scored. A controversial penalty from Arturs Karasauks just before the hour mark effectively ended the tie as a contest.

 

With a lead to defend, Skonto boss Tamazs Pertija chose to switch to a flat-back four from the three-at-the-back they used last week. The Georgian manager brought in Sorokins at left-back and he was well worth his place, putting his team 1-0 ahead when he got on the end of Edgars Jermolajevs' cross from the right.

 

It wasn’t quite a goal against the run of play, but the home team had more of the possession and the better chances for much of the game. However, Liam Buckley's men couldn’t break down the Latvian team, with all the main chances coming from set-pieces.

 

Both sides looked to break the deadlock from dead-ball situations in the opening half an hour of the game. Andrejs Kovalovs was booked for taking down Greg Bolger after 13 minutes. Aaron Greene, goalscorer in the first-leg, could only find the side-netting with a header when Conan Byrne floated the resulting free-kick in.

 

The situation switched up the other end a minute later and this time it was Ger O’Brien going in the book with a foul that gave Skonto a sight of goal. Andrejs Kovalovs dummied the free-kick on the edge of the area, allowing Edgars Jermolajevs to whip it over the Pat's wall but Brendan Clarke watched without too much concern as it dropped wide of the post. 

 

Next Chris Forrester was taken down by Renars Rode. Byrne lined up the free-kick but he is missed the target, only managing to hit the stanchion behind the goal holding the corner of the net up.

 

The Saints should have levelled the tie midway through the half. Skonto rode their luck as the head of Rode was required to clear a Forrester shot after a quintessential mazy run by the midfielder.

 

The Latvian defence managed to keep Christy Fagan quiet for most of night, preventing the forward from scoring the goal that would make him the Saints' outright top scorer in Europe. Byrne’s crosses never could quite be in the zone for Fagan to get a firm head on the ball.

 

The opening goal came a few  minutes after Killian Brennan had forced Andrej Pavlovs to touch over his free-kick for a corner. Sorokins' headed goal meant Skonto led at the break.

 

Pat’s started the second half strongly, as you would expect from a team who needed to score two to take it to extra-time or three to win. Two minutes into the second period the ball fall to Ian Bermingham at the edge of the box, but he couldn’t quite wrap his foot enough around the ball to keep it from going over the bar.

 

The Saints forced another few corners before disaster struck on 59 minutes. A raised hand from Lee Desmond looked to deflect the ball in the box and the Polish referee pointed to the penalty spot despite the claims of innocence from the young centre-half.

 

Arturs Karasausks, who had scored in the first-leg, duly dispatched the spot kick to put the tie out of Pat’s reach. The Inchicore side kept fighting with Brennan forcing Pavlovs to dive full-length to the 'keeper's left to save.

 

Buckley went for broke with a double-substitution, bringing Jamie McGrath and Morgan Langley on, and McGrath almost scored with 15 minutes remaining when he lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper, but his effort bounced back out off the butt of the post.

 

As the clock ticked down Bermingham got forward on the end of another Byrne cross but his shot inside the six yard box went straight at Pavlovs who batted it away. Byrne did get the ball in the net with three minutes remaining but it was ruled out for offside.

 

Disappointment then for the club who waited so long to earn a European spot by winning the FAI Cup. The Saints lose back-to-back games in Richmond Park in Europe (having been undefeated for the previous ten) to exit Europe in the very first qualification round.

 

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien (capt), Lee Desmond, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Aaron Greene (Morgan Langley, 65), Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan, Conan Byrne, Chris Forrester; Christy Fagan (Jamie McGrath, 65).

Subs Not Used: Conor O’Malley, Jason McGuinness, Conor McCormack, Sam Verdon, James Chambers.

Booked: Ger O’Brien (14), Kenny Browne (35), Chris Forrester (54), Killian Brennan (55).

 

SKONTO RIGA: Andrejs Pavlovs (capt); Olegs Timofejevs, Vitalijs Smirnovs, Renars Rode, Vladislavs Sorokins; Edgars Jermolajevs, Ivan Murrilo (Vjaceslavs Isajevs, 77), Aleksejs Visnakovs, Andrejs Kovlovs, Igors Kovalovs, Vladislavs Gutkovskis (Alexsejs Visnakovs, 64); Arturs Karsausks (Nikita Ivanovs, 84).

Subs Not Used: Germans Malins, Nikita Berenfelds, Jurijs Krivoseja, Ivan Lukanyuk.

Booked: Andrejs Kovlovs (13), Arturs Karsausks (54).

 

Referee: Tomasz Musiat (Poland).

Attendance: 2,345.

Extratime Man of the Match: Vladislavs Sorokins (Skonto Riga).



St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Goalkeeper
Lee Desmond
Defender
Kenny Browne
35Booked: 35'
Defender
Ian Bermingham
Defender
Ger O'Brien
14Booked: 14'
Defender
Aaron Greene
65'
65Subbed Off: 65'
Midfielder
Chris Forrester
54Booked: 54'
Midfielder
Conan Byrne
Midfielder
Killian Brennan
55Booked: 55'
Midfielder
Greg Bolger
Midfielder
Christy Fagan
65'
65Subbed Off: 65'
Forward

Substitutes
James Chambers
Midfield
Morgan Langley
65'
65Subbed On: 65'
Forward
Conor McCormack
Midfield
Jamie McGrath
65'
65Subbed On: 65'
Midfield
Jason McGuinness
Defender
Conor O'Malley
Goalkeeper
Sam Verdon
Forward
Skonto Riga
Andrejs Pavlovs
Goalkeeper
Renars Rode
Defender
Vitalijs Smirnovs
Defender
Vladislavs Sorokins
Defender
37Scored: 37'
Olegs Timofejevs
Defender
Igors Kozlovs
Midfielder
Andrejs Kovalovs
Midfielder
13Booked: 13'
Edgars Jermolajevs
Midfielder
Ivan Murillo
Midfielder 77'
77Subbed Off: 77'
Arturs Karasausks
Forward
54Booked: 54'
59Peno: 59'
84'
84Subbed Off: 84'
Vladislavs Gutkovskis
Forward 64'
64Subbed Off: 64'

Substitutes
Germans Malins
Goalkeeper
Ivan Lukanyuk
Midfield
Jurijs Krivoseja
Forward
Nikita Ivanovs
Forward
84Subbed On: 84'
84'
Vjaceslavs Isajevs
Defender
77Subbed On: 77'
77'
Nikita Berenfelds
Defender
Aleksejs Visnakovs
Midfield
64Subbed On: 64'
64'


Photo Gallery for St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Skonto Riga