Champions League Report: Rosenborg 2 - 1 Dundalk AET (Rosenborg win 3-2 on aggregate)Wed, Jul 19 2017
Dundalk were left to curse missed opportunities as an extra-time header from Matthias Vilhjalmsson saw Stephen Kenny's side dumped from the Champions League at the first hurdle.
Things had looked so bright for the visitors early on as they bossed the game in the sunshine of the Lerkendal Stadion and took the lead after just 11 minutes through Brian Gartland.
In a near-carbon copy of the first leg at Oriel Park, the Lilywhites took a deserved early lead only to fail to make it to half time, Yann-Erik de Lanlay levelling a minute shy of the break.
The tie finished level after 90 minutes but the home side were clearly in the ascendancy for the entire second half and rarely looked threatened after taking the lead eight minutes into extra time.
Just as they had seven days ago in Dundalk, the Lilywhites got off to the perfect start, Gartland showing greater desire to beat Vegar Hedenstad to the ball and send a header trickling into the corner.
It almost got much, much better four minutes later as Duffy's corner from the opposite side found David McMillan free, but his bullet header from close range was wonderfully saved by André Hansen.
A second goal, even at that early stage, would have left Rosenborg with the mammoth task of finding three goals in normal time to rescue the tie – a tall order given how they'd performed so far.
The hosts appeared shellshocked and looked nervous at the back, exemplified by Jorgen Skjelvik hastily hooking a bouncing ball behind for a corner rather than risk McMillan stealing in.
They did gradually work their way into the game, however, and they enjoyed a purple patch as half-time approached.
Dundalk's Dane Niclas Vemmelund – who had marshalled his countryman Nicklas Bendtner brilliantly over two games – made a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Milan Jevtovic inside the box.
There was little he could do about the equaliser, however, as Gartland rushed out to leave a gap in the middle and captain Mike Jensen took advantage.
De Lanlay slipped in on Sean Gannon's blind side to take the skipper's pass and, though his first touch was overhit, he beat Gary Rogers to the loose ball and swept it into the corner of the net.
It was rough justice on the Lilywhites, who had been comfortably the better side, but it almost got worse moments later when Jevtovic found space at the edge of the box and forced a low save from Rogers.
The home side sensed Dundalk's vulnerability and piled on the pressure early in the second half as a nervy visiting defence just about held out amid a barrage of corners and balls into the box.
Duffy and Patrick McEleney were booked in quick succession, and captain Stephen O'Donnell introduced to sure up the midfield, but Dundalk just couldn't get on the ball enough to slow it down.
Rogers made another full-stretch save, from Fredrik Mitsjo, before scorer in the first leg Tore Reginiussen found himself free on the edge of the six-yard box but misses his kick completely.
Robbie Benson forced a good save from Hansen seven minutes from time as a well-worked free kick routine ended in the midfielder bending a powerful shot towards the top corner.
Benson came off worse in a clash of heads with Gartland in injury time and wore heavy strapping on his head in extra time, his midfield partner McEleney having limped off by that stage.
There was an inevitability about the goal when it came as there was no let up in the hosts' attacking play, and the substitute Vilhjalmsson easily beat a tired Gartland to head in the winner.
Ciaran Kilduff had replaced David McMillan early in the extra period and he had a glorious chance right on half-time as Gartland headed a ball to him in space but he volleyed off the crossbar and over.
There were half-chances for Kilduff and Jamie McGrath in the final period as Dundalk huffed and puffed in an effort to break the Norwegians down but to no effect.
Rosenborg BK: André Hansen; Vegar Hedenstad, Tore Reginiussen, Jorgen Skjelvik, Birger Meling; Mike Jensen, Anders Konradsen, Fredrik Mitsjo; Milan Jevtovic (Elba Rashani 106), Yann-Erik de Lanlay (Matthias Vilhjalmsson 72), Nicklas Bendtner (Marius Lundemo 114).
Subs not used: Arild Ostbo (gk), Alex Gersbach, Jacob Rasmussen.
Booked: Milan Jevtovic (74), Anders Konradsen (119).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Niclas Vemmelund, Dane Massey; John Mountney, Robbie Benson, Chris Shields, Michael Duffy (Stephen O'Donnell 59), Patrick McEleney (Jamie McGrath 84); David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff 94).
Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Sean Hoare, Paddy Barrett, Dylan Connolly.
Booked: Michael Duffy (56), Patrick McEleney (60).
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan).
Extratime Player of the Match: Mike Jensen (Rosenborg).