Trabzonspor4 Derry City 2: Derry City gave Turkish giants Trabzonspor a massive scare in a thrilling Europa League tie in Turkey last night.
Although the Candy Stripes have it all to do in the second leg of this tie if they hope to progress to the next round, they can be proud of their efforts here in the intimidating Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium.
Trabzonspor raced into a two goal lead within the first ten minutes and it seemed as if Derry City were going to be blown out of sight.
Volkan Sen played a superb through ball through the City defence to put Olcan Adin through on goal but his shot was parried by Doherty. The ball spun loose and Barry McNamee could only succeed in heading the ball upwards rather than outwards. Trabzonspor striker Adrian Mierzejewski showed great agility as his overhead kick was then deflected into the unguarded goal off the leg of Eoghan Osborne.
Derry were on the ropes after that and they fell further behind when Gerard Doherty spilled a relatively straightforward shot from Olcan Adin directly into the path of Paulo Henrique who smashed the rebound into the net for 2-0 with just 15 minutes gone.
Derry City grabbed a lifeline on 24 minutes when Gustavo Colman gave the ball away needlessly to David McDaid who immediately raced goalwards. It was just McDaid against the entire Trabzonspor defence but he cut the ball onto his lkeft foot by nutnegging centre half Remzi Giray Kacar before lashing the ball across goal and beyond goalkeeper Onur Recep Kivrak.
This incredible game took another twist just past the half hour mark as Derry City equalised.
Barry Molloy started off the move with a brilliant tackle on Henrique on the edge of the area before he played the ball forward to Patrick Kavanagh who beat the offside trap. Kavanagh cut back onto his favoured right foot on the edge of the area and his shot took a slight deflection, but just enough to take it past Kivrak to level the game at 2-2.
Trabzonspor knew they were in a fight at this stage but they regained their lead thanks to a huge slice of luck as Olcan Adin's free kick into a crowded penalty area was headed into his own net by Barry Molloy. But Trabzonspor got a fourth when Adrian Mierzejewski's corner kick found Remzi Giray Kacar unmarked and he headed the ball powerfully past Doherty from close range.
Trabzonspor: Onur, Recep Kivrak, Volkan Sen (Yasin Oztekin 80'), Adrian Mierzejewski (Alan Da Costa 68'), Carneiro Filho Paulo Henrique (Emre Gural 75'), Aykut Akgun, Gustavo Colman, Mustafa Yumlu, Remzi Giray Kacar, Ondrej Celustka, Zeki Yavru, Olcan Adin.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney, Eoghan Osborne, Patrick McEleney (Michael Duffy 73'), Patrick Kavanagh (Ryan McBride 64'), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry McNamee, David McDaid (Mark Griffin 86').
Referee: Artyom Kuchin (Kazahkstan).