Brave Drogs Bow Out In Sweden

Drogheda United bowed out of Europe going down 2-0 to Malmo FF despite a spirited performance.

The Drogs travelled to Sweden full of hope, having held their opponents to a scoreless draw in the first leg but it would be the home side who would go through to a date with Pat Fenlon’s Hibernian.  

The warm conditions at the Swedbank Stadion were a big factor but Drogheda played off the counter thus sitting back and relying on grabbing an away goal. Malmo were under increased pressure from both their fans and the home press to advance.

Malmo fans were in fine voice from kick off. Five minutes into the game Drogheda United settled down and played their own football, much to the delight of manager Mick Cooke who stressed that he wanted his side to relax as early as possible.

Drogheda United players were ‘booed’ and ‘jeered’ every-time they attacked the Malmo goal. As time went on, the crowd grew more and more disgruntled at the thoughts of the Boynesiders sneaking an away goal.

Malmo seemed to get closer and closer to the goal after ten minutes had past. They knew they needed to score, to calm down the crowd more than anything. Cooke’s side was doing just enough to keep the scores level.

Drogheda United seem to be counter attacking everything Malmo threw at them. They had their first attempt on Gabriel Sava’s goal as Simon Thern found space on the edge of the box but he could only fire his shot straight into the arms of Sava, thankfully for the visitors.

Drogheda then went on the attack with an in-swinging free kick causing some nervy moments in the Malmo box before the hosts cleared the ball.

Shortly after it was Malmo’s turn to capitalise on a free kick but Magnus Eriksson blasted up and over Sava’s bar.

Sava had a relatively easy opening start to the game, affording his side a chance to steal the lead but Declan O’Brien squandered their best chance of the game when he broke through but under pressure from the Malmo defence he failed to get a shot away. Drogheda showing slight sights there was hope for their team.

Malmo then went close from another corner, both teams really should have scored by this stage.

Sava and Alan McNally played pivotal roles in keeping the Malmo attack at bay and just when it seemed they would be heading level into the interval, Malmo broke Drogheda’s resistance.

Emil Forsberg cut inside from the left hand side of the box and lifted the ball easily over Sava to edge them ahead in the tie.

Into the second half and Gary O’Neill had an early chance to restore parity but he could only fire his shot over.

Malmo went close to doubling their lead five minutes into the second half as striker Tokelo Rantie broke through the Drogheda United defence and lifted the ball over Sava only to see his effort drift wide.

Malmo were giving Drogheda United no time whatsoever on the ball at the start of the second half, they wanted to dictate the ball this half, just as Drogheda did so in the first.

Drogheda United counter attacked Malmo once again as Peter Hynes swung the ball over to the back post which was headed back into the box by David Cassidy, sadly, only finding the arms of Malmo goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.

Malmo gained a free kick twenty yards from Drogheda’s box which was headed away to find the right leg of Thern who volleyed the ball wide of the right hand post.

Malmo were now keeping the ball with relative ease and Drogheda couldn’t get near them for prolonged spells.

Eriksson then went close for the home side but he fired his shot just wide of Sava’s right hand post. Drogheda’s plans went into turmoil as McNally went down with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Graham Rusk.

Most of Malmo’s attacks, bar the goal, have had no end product after good build up play. Ten minutes remained and it didn’t look like we were getting treated to a goal by Drogheda United.

The little amount that Drogheda did create they seemed to waste, lacking an end product. After a good spell of domination in the first half  this result will have hurt Drogheda United.

A killer blow was dealt to Cooke’s side as Simon Kroon added a second for Malmo with only a minute left thus ending any chance of a comeback for Drogheda United, who can be proud of their effforts.

Drogheda United: Sava, Pendergast, McNally(Rusk) O’Conor, Hynes, O’Neill, Gavin Brennan, Cassidy, O’Brien (Hand), Daly, Byrne.

Unused subs: Schlingermann,Brady, Grimes,Gannon & Marks.

Malmo FF: Dahlin, Albornoz, Jansson, Halsti, Eriksson, Hamad, Thern (Friberg), Ricardinho, Johansson, Forsberg (Kroon), Rantie (Cibicki)

Unused subs: Olsen(GK),Fadi, Konate & Petrovic.

Attendance: 5,689.

    • Jonathan
    • July 12th, 2013

    Cheers! /Malmo

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