Belfast Telegraph

Gary Hamilton says sorry to Glenavon faithful after 0-6 loss to KR Reyjavik

Glenavon 0 - KR Reyjavik 6 (KR Reyjavik win 8-1 on aggregate)

By David Mason

Manager Gary Hamilton apologised to the Glenavon fans following his team's dramatic Europa League collapse at Mourneview Park - their heaviest European loss.

The Lurgan Blues were clinging to hopes of a money spinning second round tie against Grasshoppers of Zurich following their narrow 2-1 defeat in last week's first leg tie in Iceland.

But KR Keykjavik were simply too hot to handle. A first half double from Kennie Chopart blew Glenavon's chances out of the water.

Giant striker Holmbert Fridjonsson then hammered in a second half penalty before substitute Morten Beck Andersen, Oskar Hauksson and Denis Fazlagic made it a night of misery for the Irish League boys.

It was Glenavon's biggest European hammering, even more damaging than the 1977 defeats to PSV Eindhoven, 5-0 away and 6-2 at home.

"On behalf of the players, and staff, I apologise to our supporters, who turned out in big numbers for that performance," said Hamilton.

"It simply wasn't good enough. We capitulated in the second half. We gave up the ghost in the second half - and that isn't like a Glenavon team.

"Perhaps it was down to tiredness. When you are 3-0 down it doesn't help. We were mentally fatigued. But we gave it up too easily. We'll obviously sit down and analyse the game."

The home team came within inches of a dream start - after only 43 seconds.

Simon Kelly's long punt forward fell perfectly to the usually lethal Eoin Bradley, whose shot fizzed past the post.

The home fans were stunned into silence on five minutes. Hauksson picked out the flying Chopart, who appeared to be in an offside position. He didn't hang about waiting on a flag and the midfielder's finish was sublime.

The tie was as good as over on 29 minutes when that man Chopart struck again.

After the break, Fridjonsson tumbled after tricking his way past Kelly inside the box, leaving Finnish referee Dennis Antamo with an easy penalty decision.

Fridjonsson picked himself up to score from the spot.

Then substitute Denis Fazlagic eased his way into the box before setting up Anderson for a tap in.

In a frantic two minute spell, Hauksson and Fazlagic had simple strikes to end an embarrassing evening.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Hamilton (Moorhouse 64), Kelly, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall (O'Mahony 78), Patton, Sykes, Doyle, Martyn (Kilmartin 71).

KR Reykjavik: Magnusson, Beck, Praest ( Michaelsson 81), Gunnarsson, Margeirsson, Fridjonsson (Andersen 56), Palmson, Sigurdsson, Chopart (Fazlagic 58), Josepsson, Hauksson.

Referee: D Antamo (Finland).

Match rating: 6/10.

Man of the match: Kennie Chopart

Belfast Telegraph


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