UEFA Champions League Q1
Enea Jorgil (ALB)
Rosenborg Scorers :
Konradsen (20', 50'), Akintola (73'), Helland (85')
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Chris Casement, Jamie Mulgrew, Ross Larkin
Linfield Team :
Gareth Deane (GK), Chris Casement, Jimmy Callacher, Ross Larkin, Matthew Clarke, Jamie Mulgrew © (Stephen Fallon 58’), Bastien Hery, Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart (Kirk Millar 74’), Daniel Kearns, Shayne Lavery (Andrew Waterworth 57’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Caomhan McGuinness, Andrew Mitchell, Trai Hume
Rosenborg Team :
Hansen (GK), Hedenstad (Trondsen 45’), Reginiussen, Hovland, Meling, Konradsen, Lundemo, Asen, Helland, Soderlund (Akintola 57’), de Lanlay
Rosenborg Subs not used :
Ostibo (GK), Denic, Jensen, Valsvik, Ceidi
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Linfield travelled to the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim, Norway to take on Rosenborg in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League First Round Qualifier. It was a warm evening in Trondheim and the home support were in full voice. Still, the small travelling support were relentless in their support and they too made themselves heard.
Linfield’s inspirational captain and club legend Jamie Mulgrew led the Blues out on a night when he would reach another milestone, making his 550th appearance in the blue shirt. It was a significant night for defender Ross Larkin, too, as the 20 year-old made his competitive debut for Linfield after joining from Portadown earlier in the summer, coming in for the injured Mark Stafford. There were a further two changes to the team which lost 2-0 at Windsor Park in the first leg, with Shayne Lavery and Daniel Kearns coming in for Andrew Waterworth and Kirk Millar, respectively.
The hosts had the ball in the net early on when attacker Helland nodded home a cross from the left but he was well offside and the goal was chalked off. That was Linfield’s only real worrying moment in an otherwise comfortable start.
Frustratingly for David Healy, his team would be undone by a set piece after a positive start. A corner flew in on 20 minutes and Rosenborg midfielder Anders Konradsen stormed to the front post to leap and power home a clinical header.
The Blues responded well. Mulgrew sent Daniel Kearns away down the left and his low cutback went agonisingly past Shayne Lavery in the middle with the striker inches away from contact. Moments later, Lavery turned and had a pop at goal from 25 yards which was deflected just wide.
Linfield’s best move of the half came late in the half when Bastien Hery picked out Jordan Stewart and he fed the overlapping Chris Casement, who saw his low strike brilliantly saved by the outstretched Andre Hansen. Jordan Stewart also had a go from distance in the first half but it was past the far post.
Half Time: Rosenborg 1 – 0 Linfield
Midfielder Anders Konradsen scored his and Rosenborg’s second of the night on 50 minutes. A cross from tricky winger Helland was deflected and the ball fell kindly for the central midfielder who made no mistake from 12 yards, volleying the ball past Gareth Deane into the corner.
Instrumental Helland nearly found the net himself with a thunderous free-kick. The winger had an opportunity to hit one from just outside the box after Ross Larkin was forced to make a challenge and his sweetly-struck free-kick left the crossbar shaking.
Substitute Akintola made it three on 69 minutes. It was another cheap goal to concede from Linfield’s perspective as casual playing out from the back was punished. Deane did well to deny Helland from close range initially but winger Akintola was on hand to head the ball home.
Helland got a deserved goal on 85 minutes when Akintola raced beyond the Linfield backline before squaring the ball for the thankful striker who had the simple task of slotting home.
The Blues were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League as a result but some consolation is they will now get a second bite at the cherry, this time in the Europa League second round when they take on HB Torshavn from the Faroe Islands. Manager David Healy faces a quick turnaround in preparation for that tie with the first leg to be played away next Tuesday 23rd July but when he reflects on his team’s two legs against Rosenborg he will have no complaints about the effort and endeavour that his team displayed against classy opposition.
Full Time: Rosenborg 4 (6) – 0 (0) Linfield