Despite an improved display on last week's first leg, St Patrick’s Athletic duly exited the Europa League at the AWD-Arena in Hannover, Germany, losing 2-0 on the night and going down 5-0 on aggregate.
St Pat’s started well with skipper Conor Kenna’s volley shaving the bar early on. But poor defending gifted Hannover the lead on 32 minutes when Karim Haggui headed home Szabolcs Huszti’s free-kick.
Substitute Mario Eggimann then headed Hannover’s second goal on 47 minutes from Konstantin Rausch’s cross.
Acknowledging they needed to keep the ball better than they did in the first game and press Hannover further up the pitch, an unchanged Saints side started purposefully, forcing two early corners and encouraged by almost taking the lead from the second of them on 11 minutes.
Sean O’Connor’s delivery was only half-cleared. The ball was put back across by John Russell for Kenna who controlled it superbly on his chest only to see his volley shave the top of the home crossbar.
St Pat’s had had a scare minutes earlier when Mohammed Abdellaoue’s shot was deflected over for Hannover’s first corner of the game.
Otherwise, manager Liam Buckley would have been pleased with the start his side made as Hannover were content to get behind the ball and let Pat’s have it and pass it around without really threatening them in the final third.
Eradicating basics errors was the other area St Pat’s were conscious of after the first leg, but they fell prey to that in undoing their good early work.
And Hannover had more than enough about them to punish indiscipline and poor defending to all but put the tie to bed with the lead goal on the night just past the half hour mark.
Ger O’Brien was spoken to by the referee in conceding a free-kick for a foul on Hungarian winger Huszti on the left. That was compounded by some negligent marking in the area from Huszti’s ball across as central defender Haggui got to it ahead of Kenny Browne to score with a glancing header.
Further poor marking resulted in St Pat’s conceding again two minutes into the second half.
Hannover worked a short corner with Konstantin Rausch providing the killer ball into the area where substitute Heggimann’s rising header entered the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Brendan Clarke made the save of game on 72 minute when diving full length to push away Abdellaoue’s 30-yard drive in the 72nd minute to keep the score at 2-0 and that’s the way it finished with the German side winning 5-0 on aggregate to progress.
Hannover 96: Zieler; Cherundolo, Haggui, Schulz (Eggimann, 39 mins.), Rausch; Stindl, Pinto (Schmiedebach, 64 mins.), Andreasen, Huszti; Abdellaoue, Ya Konan (Sobiech, h/t).
St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Russell (Carroll, 64 mins.), Chambers, Bolger; Forrester (Meenan, 58 mins.), Fagan (Flood, 80 mins.), O’Connor.
Referee: Anar Salmanov (Azerbaijan).