Aberdeen progress in Europa Conference League despite night to forget in Gothenburg

REGARDLESS of the result it was never going to be a European night in Gothenburg to rival that in 1983 for Aberdeen. But it turned into a much more uncomfortable evening for the Dons as they fell to a 2-0 loss against BK Hacken.

The Dons returned to the city of their European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph with a 5-1 lead in their Europa Conference League tie and ended up needing it to progress.

Ahead of the match Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack announced a statue of Sir Alex Ferguson was to be built outside Pittodrie in honour to his contribution to the Dons, including the historic 2-1 triumph over Real Madrid in Gothenburg.

But in truth it was an evening to forget this time round for the Dons in Sweden. Despite controlling large spells of play and creating masses of chances the Dons slipped to a disappointing defeat.

It could’ve been so much different had Stephen Glass’ side have taken any of their opportunities with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Christian Ramirez and Lewis Ferguson all coming close in the opening 45 minutes.

But it was Hacken who had the first chance to break the deadlock, Tobias Heintz controlled the ball just inside the box before his shot clattered the post with just five minutes played.

The early wake-up call acted in the Dons’ favour as they took a stranglehold of the match for the majority of the first half. Ramirez was the first to have a clear sight of goal but he missed the ball as it was fizzed into the box with 20 minutes on the clock.

Just seven minutes later Emmanuel-Thomas forced a smart save from Peter Abrahamsson as he shot goalwards from inside the area.

The striker was involved again as he sent through strike partner Ramirez but he could poke the ball past the alert onrushing Abrahamsson in goal.

Aberdeen came closest to opening the scoring in first-half stoppage time when Lewis Ferguson rose highest to angle a header towards goal, but Abrahamsson sprung across goal to push clear.

The Dons were punished for their inability to score just six minutes into the second half when Martin Olsson raced into the box and arrowed a strike into the far corner.

Funso Ojo was next to fluff his lines for Aberdeen in front of goal as he missed the ball from an excellent Ramirez pass.

Joe Lewis then thwarted a powerful strike from Nasiru Mohammed with a strong left hand on 58 minutes but he couldn’t prevent Hacken from doubling their lead shortly after.

The keeper brought down Leo Bengtsson in the box, with the midfielder stepping up to slam home the penalty with 67 minutes played.

The hosts looked threatening as they pushed for a third, but their intent was quashed when substitute Patrik Walemark was sent off for two yellow cards in just over a minute with 20 minutes left.

Ferguson and sub Jack Gurr has long range efforts saved in the closing stages as Aberdeen held on for a 5-3 aggregate win. They’ll now face Iceland’s Breidablik in the third qualifying round.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992