Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders 3-1 Liepāja live: Michael Carvill shines as Crues take advantage but Europa League defeats for Ballymena and Coleraine

A hard-fought win at Seaview while Coleraine and Ballymena go down in Norway

By Gareth Hanna

Michael Carvill curled home Crusaders' second goal to cap a fine performance as Crusaders earned the advantage in their Europa League first leg.

The former Linfield man curled home the second goal on 35 minutes in fine fashion, adding to Philip Lowry's opener seven minutes previous and putting the Crues on the way to their 3-1 win over Liepaja at Seaview.

When Jordan Owens fired in the third after the break, it was just reward for a performance that had been head and shoulders above their opponents.

But then Arturs Karasausks smashed home the goal of the game, in off the bar from the apex of the box, and the game was changed.

An away goal for the Latvians, another could be catastrophic for the Crues.

Liepaja even hit the bar and tested Jensen's reflexes but Crusaders managed to hold their two goal lead. And that could make all the difference.

It was the tonic Irish League teams needed after Ballymena lost out 3-0 to Odd, conceding in the first minute and the last while Coleraine lost heavily 7-0 to Haugesund.

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