Belfast Telegraph

Crues simply sensational, says Baxter

By Graham Luney

Crusaders have a great chance of reaching the second qualifying round of the Europa League after recording a 3-1 first leg victory over Latvian side FK Liepaja at Seaview last night.

Goals from Philip Lowry, Michael Carvill and Jordan Owens had the hosts cruising but the visitors netted through Arturs Karasausks to retain hopes of a fightback in the second leg on Thursday.

If the Crues do progress they will meet either Belarus side Shakhtyor Soligorsk or FK Sudova of Lithuania in the next round. The first leg in Belarus finished 0-0.

"The performance was sensational for an Irish League team," said Crues boss Stephen Baxter. "It will be tough out there, but we'll give our best. We certainly needed a two goal cushion to take with us."

The European outlook was bleaker for other Northern Irish sides as Derry City lost 6-1 at FC Midtjylland, Ballymena United were defeated 3-0 at Odds BK and Coleraine were thrashed 7-0 at Haugesund.

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