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Sligo Rovers 4-0 FK Banga (Sligo Rovers win 4-0 on agg)

Updated: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 14:04

Alan Keane gives Sligo the lead at the Showgrounds
Alan Keane gives Sligo the lead at the Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers will face Norwegian side Rosenborg in the second qualifying round of the Europa League following a 4-0 second leg victory over 10-man FK Banga Gargzdai at the Showgrounds.

Goals from Alan Keane, Aaron Greene, Danny North and David Cawley handed Rovers only the second European victory in the club's history as the visitors' campaign ended in ignominy with the dismissal of Karolis Urbaitis in the 72nd minute. 

The result means that John Coleman's side progress 4-0 on aggregate following last week's scoreless first leg in Lithuania.

The FAI Cup holders were without Danny Ledwith (groin), Jeff Henderson (foot) and Joseph Ndo (calf) as Coleman kept faith with the same line-up which played out an entertaining scoreless draw with Cork City on Sunday.

Banga boss Maksim Tischenko fielded the same team as in the first leg. New signings Valeri Makiev and Artur Siryk took their places on the bench despite having only arrived in Ireland early on Thursday morning.

North almost gave the Bit O'Red the perfect start with seven minutes played. Kieran Djilali's corner from the left was met by the head of the 26-year-old, but North failed to get the telling touch to guide the ball inside Sarunas Jurevicius' far post.

Cawley headed wide on 12 minutes from another Djilali corner as Rovers dominated the early exchanges.

Rovers allowed the Lithuanians into the game as Eivinas Zagursksas' unleashed a stinging drive from 30 yards, but Sligo goalkeeper Gary Rogers was level to the striker's powerful effort.

Rogers has been arguably Sligo's standout player this season, and the home side had to rely on their netminder once more on 25 minutes. Evan McMillan upended Aurelijus Staponka at the edge of the area before Alexey Epifanov's free-kick was pushed on to the post by the alert Rogers.

Rovers captured the lead a minute into injury-time at the end of the first half. Djilali was brought down at the edge of the box, but his claims for a free-kick fell on deaf ears. Play resumed and possession fell to Greene, whose shot was deflected away to Keane who, hitting the ball first time on his left foot, lashed the ball past Jurevicius and into the corner of the visitors' net.

Banga almost grabbed a precious away goal moments later. Evaldas Grigaitis, who had caused Sligo plenty of problems in the first leg, was afforded plenty of time and space but was again denied by Rogers.

Raffaele Cretaro and Cawley both had efforts at goal early in the second half, but neither could breach the Banga back line with shots from distance

At the other end, the dangerous Staponka fired narrowly over in the 57th minute.

North passed up a great opportunity to double Rovers' lead on the hour mark. Greene's searching ball from deep found the Grimsby man at the edge of the six-yard-box, but North was unable to shift his body in time to get away any sort of meaningful shot despite the advantageous position.

Sligo were handed a massive boost in the 68th minute minute when Urbaitis was dismissed by Albanian referee Bardhyl Pashej for a second bookable offence after he brought down Greene with a heavy challenge.

It didn't take the Bit O'Red long to capitalise on their numerical advantage as the Setanta Cup holders doubled their lead fou minutes later. Keane's run down the right saw him lay off the ball to John Russell, who fed Greene, and the first-time shot from 15 yards left hapless Jurevicius floundering.

North made it 3-0 seven minutes from time. Russell was given all the time in the world to finish past Jurevicius, but hesitated and in doing so was robbed of possession. Fortunately for Sligo, the alert North was on hand to regain the ball and tap into an empty net.

Cretaro could have made it four straight from the restart but could only clip the Banga woodwork, while Russell's bending effort fizzed past the post in the 86th minute.

Rovers were well in control at this stage and Cawley made it 4-0 in the 89th minute when Conneely skipped past the challenge of his marker to square the ball to the unmarked Mayo man who slotted home.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers (for Richard Brush 84); Alan Keane (for Gavin Peers 87), Kalen Spillane (for Ross Gaynor 23), Evan McMillan, Seamus Conneely; Kieran Djilali, David Cawley, John Russell, Aaron Greene, Danny North.

FK Banga Gargzdai: Sarunas Jurevicius, Zaurbek Karkusov (for Artem Stezhka 25), Davydas Arlauskis, Alexey Epifanov, Karolis Urbaitis, Sergei Shevchuk, Maksym Khablov (for Valery Makiev 70), Andrius Butkus (for Artur Siryk 74), Evaldas Grigaitis, Eivinas Zagurskas, Aurelijus Staponka.

Referee: Bardhyl Pashaj (Albania)

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