Report: Ryan McMullen

Our Champions League campaign came to a conclusion on Tuesday night with a defeat in Iceland, with the hosts progressing 3-1 on aggregate.

Stephen Bradley made 2 changes from last week’s loss in the first leg, bringing in Graham Burke for Jack Byrne who was unavailable due to injury alongside Richie Towell who replaced Dylan Watts.

Despite an encouraging start from the Hoops it was Breidablik who would land the first blow as Jason Svanborsson broke through on goal after evading a challenge from Pico Lopes before sliding the ball past Pohls into the far corner of the net to give the hosts the lead on the night and a cushion in the tie.

Rovers thought they had found a lifeline in the tie when Rory Gaffney was played through on goal and finished well past Anton Einarsson however the goal was ruled out for offside following a VAR review.

Rovers struggled to get back into the game after going a goal down and Breidablik continued to make most of the play. Leading up to the break Leon Pohls was forced to make a save after Sigurdarson found the ball in the box and took a dangerous shot that forced the German goalkeeper into action.

Breidablik were going in at halftime with the advantage whilst Rovers would be looking to try and make a comeback in the second half.

The Hoops had the first real opportunity of the second half as Rory Gaffney’s snap-shot forced Einarsson into a finger-tip save. But just as the Hoops looked to be building momentum, Breidablilk landed another blow. The hosts played a short corner with the skipper Gunnlaugson firing past Pohls to extend their advantage on the night and in the tie.

Rovers response was quick and managed to get a goal back after they were awarded a penalty following a VAR decision, with Graham Burke opting to go down the middle of the goal whilst Einarsson went left.

Rovers kept pushing and tried to find their second although couldn’t manage to in the end despite some half chances for Johnny Kenny who was introduced off the bench late on.

A disappointing night for the 100+ traveling Hoops but attention quickly turns to Sunday’s trip to Oriel Park as we begin our FAI Cup campaign against Dundalk. Kick off in Louth is at 5pm.

Breidablik: A Einarsson, Gunnlaugsson ©, Muminocic, Margeirsson, Yeoman, Sigurdarson, Sigurjonsson, K Einarsson, Svanthorsson, Steindorsson, Eyjolfsson.

Breidablik unused substitutes: Bragason, Ludviksson, Thorsteinsson, Arnarsson, Gunnarsson, Olsen, Stefansson.

Shamrock Rovers: Pohls, Hoare, Lopes ©, Cleary, Finn (Grace 87’), Burke (Kenny 78’), Kavanagh, O’Neill, Towel (Greene 70’)l, Poom (Watts 70’), Gaffney

Shamrock Rovers Unused substitutes: Mannus, Power, Cruise, Noonan, Razi.