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Glentoran face up to Europa League exit after Reykjavik defeat

Roy Coyle was left to rue what he described as “basic, silly mistakes” as Glentoran all but crashed out of the Europa League at the first qualifying stage with a 3-0 defeat to KR Reykjavik last night.

Having gone a goal down after just 12 minutes, through Gudmundur Gunnarsson, the Glens left themselves with a mountain to climb and by the time Kjartan Finnbogason had tapped in a second, their chances of making it through to the second round had all but evaporated on a rainy night in Iceland.

The third killer goal arrived just after the hour through the dangerous Bjorgolfur Takefusa, meaning next week’s second leg at the Oval becomes little more than a chance for Glentoran to build up towards the new season.

Andy Waterworth had a one-on-one saved by KR keeper Lars Moldskred just before the home side had doubled their advantage, but that proved to be a rare sight

on goal for the Glens who were clearly lacking in sharpness at this early stage in the year.

But Coyle, taking over in charge of the east Belfast men for the first time in four years, as stand in for Scott Young who doesn’t hold the relevent UEFA coaching badges to manage in Europe, wasn’t looking for excuses.

“We made basic, silly mistakes and that has cost us,” said a hoarse Coyle, who has become unused to barking out the orders from the sidelines.

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“Two mistakes in the first half and another in the second proved to be the difference and when you make mistakes at this level you are going to be punished.

“I’m not trying to make excuses but this is a very young team and they are lacking in experience. We didn’t have players like Colin Nixon and Paul Leeman who have been involved in European games for many years.

“All we can hope is that this young team learns from their experiences here and hopefully don’t make the same mistakes again.”

While it’s highly unlikely that the Glens will claw back the three -goal deficit in Belfast on Thursday, Coyle at least promised that the team will go out with even the slightest of hopes that an incredible shock can be realised.

“We’ve had another game and we will be a bit sharper for the second leg but I will tell you, we will go out there and give it our all and see what happens,” he added.

KR REYKJAVIK: Moldskred, G Sigurdarson, Gudjónsson, Finnbogason (G Jónsson 88), Fridgeirsson, B Sigurdsson, Hauksson (Kristjánsson 84), Takefusa (Baldvinsson 81), Arnarson, Rutgers, Gunnarsson. Subs: Hetemaj, H Sigurdsson, Baldvinsson, Einarsson.

GLENTORAN: Morris, McGovern, Ward, Johnny Taylor, Hill, Fordyce, McCabe (Gardiner 46), Clarke, Gawley (Black 66), Hamilton, Waterworth (Southam 66). Subs: Black, Gardiner, Callacher, , McBurney

Referee: Sergey Tsinkevich (Belarus)

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