Saints Fall To Danish Champions – The New Saints FC 0-2 FC Midtjylland

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Match Report

Substitutes: Cieslewicz for Ebbe (69), Byrne for Holland (79), Nembhard for Redmond (84)
Yellow Card: Edwards (57)

Attendance: 863

 

The New Saints were undone by two Midtjylland corners, as they lost 2-0 to the Danish Champions at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Scott Ruscoe’s side found themselves a goal down after just 9 minutes, as Paul Onuachu rose highest from the set-piece to give his side the lead.

Onuachu was on hand again with 27 minutes on the clock, grabbing his second, and giving TNS a mountain to climb in Denmark next week.

First-half

The Saints started the match brightly. With just five minutes gone, Dean Ebbe did well to keep the ball in play down by the right corner flag.

Caught out by the speed of the striker, the Midtjylland defender was forced to concede a free-kick to halt his progress.

The free-kick was well worked, with the ball finding its way to Ben Cabango, whose effort on goal was blocked for a corner.

It was a corner down the other end that created problems though. 6ft 7’ striker Paul Onuachu rose highest in the box to meet the cross, heading the ball into the back of the net, and putting TNS instantly on the back foot.

The perfect response almost ensued though. Finding himself in space, Jon Routledge crossed the ball in from the left seeking out Dean Ebbe. The Irishman did brilliantly to get his head to the ball, but unfortunately he could only direct the wrong side of the post.

Conceding the early goal didn’t cause TNS heads to drop. A fantastic cross-field ball from Tom Holland picked out Simon Spender down the right, who took a great though to get the ball into his stride.

He played the ball to Jamie Mullan, who linked up well with Dean Ebbe. Mullan’s eventual shot forced the Midtjylland keeper to make a good save down low.

Chances continued to come. This time it was Aeron Edwards showing good vision in the middle. He looked up and saw Danny Redmond in space down the left, who delivered the ball into the box.

After making its way through a crowded penalty box, the ball fell to Jamie Mullan, but his effort was a tame one and easy for the keeper to deal with.

TNS were punished for not taking their chances. Another corner and again posing a threat, a ball was headed back across the box and waiting gratefully at the back post was Onuachu once more.

A deft header from him was enough to turn the ball home and make the score 2-0.

Second-half

Perhaps content with the 2-0 score line, Midtjylland changed their approach in the second 45. Rather than the emphasis on attacking football they showed in the first-half, they began to sit players deeper.

That brought to an end the dangerous chances TNS were creating from counter-attacks.

With 52 minutes on the clock, Aeron Edwards collected the ball just outside the penalty box. He drove forwards with a run, before firing an effort wide of the post.

Seven minutes later, Mullan was involved again. Linking up down the right, he tried to work the ball around the challenging defender, but good cover brought about a Saints corner.

In relation to the first, the second period was quite a quiet affair.

With six minutes to go though, Midtjylland almost had the third goal that would’ve probably killed the tie.

A free-kick was taken quickly and having come on as a substitute just moments earlier, Joash Nembhard was caught out by the trickery. Only a great save from Paul Harrison kept the score at 2.

The Saints have a difficult task ahead of them next week in Denmark, but as we saw in the reverse match against Shkëndija, anything can happen in football.

Details

Date Time League Season
August 9, 2018 7:45 pm Europa League 2018 – 2019

Ground

Cardiff City Stadium
82a Leckwith Rd, Cardiff CF11 8AZ, UK

Results

ClubGoals
The New Saints FC0
FC Midtjylland2

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
2Simon Spender Defender
3Chris Marriott Defender
4Tom Holland 21 Midfielder
5Ben Cabango Defender
6Jon Routledge Midfielder
10Danny Redmond 20 Midfielder
11Adrian Cieslewicz 17 Forward
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
17Dean Ebbe 11 Forward
20Joash Nembhard 10 Defender
21Kurtis Byrne 4 Forward
23Aeron Edwards Midfielder