Crusaders 0 Rosenborg 3
Crusader's hopes of springing a huge Europa League surprise were blown away by a ruthless Rosenborg side at Seaview.
The Norwegian big guns played with power and pace and really settled the contest in a blistering last 20-minute spell.
It was a frustrating night for the Crues, who were without the guidance of their manager Stephen Baxter who was holidaying in Portugal, but Rosenborg were quite simply a different class.
Crusaders’ star man was keeper Sean O’Neill, underlining the dominance of the visitors who attacked from the outset.
Mikael Dorsin’s neat header started the ball rolling in the 19th minute and he grabbed a second in an eventful climax to the game which also saw a missed penalty from Gareth McKeown, a straight red card for Declan Caddell and a superb strike by Borek Dockal.
O’Neill made a stunning fingertip save from Simen Wangberg’s header as the visitors began with a flourish.
In the 19th minute the deserved breakthrough arrived. Markus Henriksen’s wonderfully floated cross was met with a glancing header from Dorsin that gave O’Neill no chance.
But Rosenborg, with former Spurs striker Steffen Iversen in their starting line-up, went for the jugular and O’Neill needed to be alert to block Dockal’s drive.
Keeper Daniel Orlund was left scrambling in the 41st minute when Timmy Adamson’s right foot volley from 25 yards flew over his head and clipped the crossbar before drifting behind.
Into the second half and that closing flourish saw Dockal make it 2-0 with a powerful angled drive into the top corner of the net.
On 74 minutes the red mist came down on Caddell, given his marching orders for a high footed challenge on Dockal.
Dorsin then made it 3-0 before McKeown missed from the spot.
Crusaders: O'Neill, McKeown, McBride, Leeman, Magowan, Caddell, Watson, Adamson, Rainey, Owens, Heatley. Subs: Drummond, McClean, Gibson, McAllister, Gargan, Snoddy, McMaster.
Rosenborg: Orlund, Ankersen, Dorsin, Ronning, Wangberg, Issah, Dockal, Chibuike, Henriksen, Svensson, Iversen. Subs: Hovdevik, Hoiland, Togstad, Berntsen, Midtsjoe, Prica.
Referee: Dawid Piasecki (Poland).
e PORTADOWN want fans from across the Irish League to back them in Tuesday’s Europa League clash with Shkendija after a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Macedonia.
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