Glentoran's European dream ended by classy KR Reykjavik
Eddie Patterson's boys are sliced open by ruthless KR
GLENTORAN 0 KR REYKJAVIK 3 KR win 3-0 on aggregate. Glentoran's European dream turned into a nightmare, as Icelandic side KR won 3-0 at The Oval.
The Glens went into this Europa League second leg full of confidence after a fine 0-0 draw in Reykjavik, but Eddie Patterson's men succumbed to their visitors, who cut the East Belfast men open all too often.
It could have been very different for Glentoran had new signing Mark Miskimmin converted an early chance.
In the third minute Richard Clarke delivered a searching ball forward that put Miskimmin through on goal, but the former Donegal Celtic forward saw his effort parried away by KR goalkeeper Hanners Halldorsson.
Jim O'Hanlon – who started in place of Jason Hill – eschewed a shooting opportunity in the 10th minute.
He collected the ball 25 yards from goal and jinxed his way into the visitors box, before eventually running out of room and losing the ball.
O'Hanlon may regret not listening to the pleas of the Glentoran support, who begged him to unleash a first time shot.
Unfortunately for Glentoran their early promise was undone mid-way through the first half, after some sloppy defending by Kevin Bradley.
In the 23rd minute the former Cliftonville defender played a cross field ball, 35 yards from goal, that Oskar Hauksson intercepted with his head.
The ball looped forward, into the path of KR forward Gary Martin, who escaped Bradley before controlling the ball and guiding it past the on-rushing Elliot Morris, high into the back of the net, from 10 yards.
Goalscorer Martin is the only pro in the KR side.
The 22-year-old Englishman started his career with his home town club of Middlesbrough, before moving to Hungary to play for Ujpest. He arrived at KR from fellow Icelandic side Akranes. Martin almost scored his second goal of the game in the 29th minute when he found himself with an inch a space at the back post, but the British ex-pat drilled the ball into the side netting.
In the 33rd minute Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabakov bemused the crowd and enraged the visitors when he booked midfielder Baldur Siguardsson for wearing the incorrect under-shorts.
Siguardsson's black cycling shorts, didn't match his white playing shorts and he was sent back to the bench for a quick costume change, while the referee brandished the yellow card.
KR tried to extend their lead in first half stoppage time when blonde haired midfielder Oskar Hauksson went on a mazy run, before firing off a 30 yard shot, the went well over the crossbar.
Glentoran returned for the second, hoping to mount a memorable comeback, but in truth the east Belfast never really got going. Their best chance of the half came from a free-kick, Jimmy Callagher tried his luck from 25 yards. While his set-piece was on target, it had little power behind it, and it was easily stopped by an alert Halldorsson.
As the half progressed the visitors started to become the dominant force, cutting the Glentoran defence open on a number of occasions. Indeed, if it wasn't for the efforts of Elliot Morris and Jimmy Callagher the Icelandic side could have won by an even greater margin.
In the 59th minute visiting striker Martin broke down the left-hand flank, finding himself in acres of space.
The Englishman burst into the box and fired off a shot, but Morris pushed away his powerful effort.
KR scored the goal their efforts deserved in the 65th minute as they broke into the Glentoran box once again. Morris was equal to Jonas Saevarsson first effort, but the ball rebounded back into his path, and he smashed home the rebound, to put the result beyond all reasonable doubt.
It would have been 3-0 a minute later if it wasn't for the efforts of Jimmy Callagher. Oskar Hauksson lobbed the ball over the head of Elliot Morris, but Callagher hooked the ball off the line with a spectacular overhead kick, with the ball destined for the back of the net.
Jonas Saevarsson added a third in injury time as he rolled the ball into the net, after a clever cut back from the byline by Gudmundur Gunnarsson.
A night which started with all the optimism of summer, ended in misery, as the Irish League's European ghosts returned to haunt Glentoran.
Glentoran: Morris, Bardley, Magee, Callacher, Kane, M.Clarke, McAlorum (85 Gordon), R.Clarke, Howland, O'Hanlon (70 Hughes), Miskimmon (70 McComb). Subs Not Used : Hogg, McCullough, Garrett.
KR: Halldorsson, Sigurdason, Hauksson. Gudjonsson, Martin, Sigurdsson (73 Ragnarsson), Finnbogason, Hauksson, Atlason (86 Olafsson), Saevarsson, Gudmundur Gunnarsson. Subs Not Used : Runarsson, Gunnar Gunnarsson, Josepsson, Sigurjonsson, Brynjar Gunnarson
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria).