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Glentoran's Euro hopes sunk by a Jelic hat-trick

By Graham Luney

Published 10/07/2015

Bright side: Eddie Patterson can take several positives
Bright side: Eddie Patterson can take several positives

Glentoran's Europa League assault began with a whimper at The Oval and failed to spark into life in Slovakia. Trailing 4-1 from the first leg, Eddie Patterson's men were on a mission to restore wounded pride against MSK Zilina but they were carved open again with striker Matej Jelic in ruthless form.

The red hot number nine led the visitors a merry dance, netting a hat-trick which saw the tie finish 7-1 on aggregate.

Jelic's goals in the 44th, 55th and 66th minutes inflicted the damage but the Glens showed commendable fighting spirit and almost held out until the interval.

Despite the 1-0 scoreline at half-time the visitors produced a committed performance and proved difficult to break down.

The first half was disjointed with numerous free-kicks but the visitors still enjoyed plenty of possession.

In the opening 10 minutes the hosts started strongly and looked to inflict more misery on the east Belfast side but they weathered the early storm.

Barry Holland was shown a yellow card in the 53rd minute as Zilina attempted to turn the screw and their superior fitness shone through in the later stages. The Glens defence found Jelic too hot to handle and the 24-year-old weaved his magic again, scoring twice in 11 minutes to leave Patterson's side in deeper trouble.

The scourge of the Glens, Jelic, was removed from the action in the 79th minute to warm applause from the home fans.

Zilina bossed the contest with nine attempts on target to Glentoran's two but Patterson will reflect on the tie as valuable preparation for the new season.

MSK Zilina: Volesak, Mabouka, Vavro, Skriniar, Letic, Spalek (Cmelik 59), Benes, Pecovsky (Kacer 59), Skvarka, Mihalik, Jelic ( Paur 79). Subs not used: Le Giang, Hucko, Michlik, Willian.

Glentoran: Morris, Holland, Birney, Magee (Garrett 79), Kane, Gordon, Gibson, McCullough, McAlorum (Nelson 67), McCaffrey (Addis 76), McMenamin. Subs not used: Hogg, Stewart, O'Hanlon.

Referee: Bardhyl Pashaj (Albania).

UCD through

Ten-man UCD celebrated a stunning Europa League victory, despite losing 2-1 at F91 Dudelange in Luxembourg.

Ryan Swan's header proved to be crucial with the tie finishing 2-2 and the students progressing on away goals.

Left-back Sean Coyne was shown a straight red card on 28 minutes but a superb defensive display at the Stade Jos Nosbaum saw them through.

St Patrick's Athletic lost 2-0 at home to Skonto Riga who won 4-1 on aggregate.

The game was essentially over as a contest for the home side with 59 minutes on the clock when the Latvians' striker Arturs Karasausks slotted home a contentious penalty to add to Vladislavs Sorokins first-half header.

Belfast Telegraph

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