Saints Bow Out Of Europe After Fantastic Campaign – FC Midtjylland 3-1 (5-1) The New Saints FC

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Match Report

Goals: Ebbe (22)
Substitutions: Cieslewicz for Redmond (70), Draper for Ebbe (73), Byrne for Holland (79)

The New Saints’ European campaign comes to an end, as they are defeated 3-1 on the night by Danish Champions FC Midtjylland.

The result means that Scott Ruscoe’s side exit the UEFA Europa League 5-1 on aggregate, following last week’s 2-0 defeat at the Cardiff City stadium.

It was a fantastic campaign for The Saints, beginning in Skopje on July 10th and culminating in a match against superior opposition, who they more than held their own with for the large part.

First-half

It was a bright start to the match, as Aeron Edwards tested the home goalkeeper, Jesper Hansen, with a low effort from the edge of the box.

Chris Marriott also went close, following a foul on Danny Redmond that drew a free-kick. The number three struck the set-piece confidently, from around 25 yards out, and his effort was only a yard or two wide of the right hand post.

But it was Midtjylland who opening the scoring on the night. With 16 minutes played, Mayron George was able to find space if the box, before placing an effort into the far corner of the goal, out of the reach of Paul Harrison.

The Saints weren’t behind for long though. 22 minutes were on the clock when Dean Ebbe was on hand to capitalise on a defensive mistake.

The Irish striker collected the ball, sprinted through the middle of the centre-back pairing, before expertly beating the outrushing goalkeeper.

Last week’s two goal man, Paul Onuachu, had a golden chance to make the score 2-1 to his side 2 minutes before half-time. After taking the ball down with his chest on the edge of the box, he sent his shot blazing over the crossbar, much to the dismay of the home supporters.

Second-half

Midtjylland, clearly inspired by the words of their management team, began to take a hold of the match as the second 45 minutes begun.

In a spell of successive corners, Tom Holland did well at the front post to head the ball to safety, as deny what would’ve been a an easy tap in for the home striker.

A second home goal ensued just two minutes after the hour mark. A fantastic initial save from Paul Harrison kept out a header bound for the top corner, but unfortunately for him, he gets no luck.

The save fell at the feet of Ayo Simon Okosun, who just about managed to scramble the ball over the line, making the score 2-1 on the night, and 4-1 on aggregate.

The comeback just wasn’t to be for TNS and with 79 minutes gone, the champions of Denmark added their third goal.

A good cross from the right-hand flank was delivered into the box at the perfect height for Okosun to head home and grab his second of the match.

The 3-1 defeat means The New Saints exit Europe at the third qualifying round stage of the Europa League, but it’s certainly been a fantastic journey along the way.

Lead image: Brian Jones. View other photographs HERE.

Details

Date Time League Season
August 16, 2018 6:00 pm Europa League 2018 – 2019

Ground

MCH Arena
MCH Arena Herning, Kaj Zartows Vej 5, 7400 Herning, Denmark

Results

ClubGoals
FC Midtjylland3
The New Saints FC1

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
2Simon Spender Defender
3Chris Marriott Defender
4Tom Holland 21 Midfielder
5Ben Cabango Defender
6Jon Routledge Midfielder
9Greg Draper 17 Forward
10Danny Redmond 11 Midfielder
11Adrian Cieslewicz 10 Forward
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
17Dean Ebbe 9 Forward
21Kurtis Byrne 4 Forward