On Thursday, Estonian football club FC Flora started their UEFA Conference League journey with an exciting 4:2 victory over Irish club Shamrock Rovers at the A. Le Coq Arena. The second leg will take place on August 26 in South Dublin.
Flora started the match against the defending Irish league champion strong and took the lead in the 13th minute, when team captain Konstantin Vassiljev found Sergei Zenjov on a through ball, who slotted the ball into the lower left corner. Flora extended their lead 14 minutes later when Rauno Sappinen found a dashing Martin Miller in front of goal and the young player smashed the ball into the net for 2:0. Rovers got a goal back just before halftime, however, when Joey O'Brien was able to clear up confusion in front of Flora's goal with a precise shot to make it 2:1 going into half.
Both teams had plenty chances in the second half, but Flora was first to realize one of their opportunities. Vassiljev tried from distance in the 76th minute and while Shamrock goalkeeper Alan Mannus saved it, he deflected the ball right in front of his own goal, where Sappinen was first on location for 3:1. In the 86th minute, Rovers got one back, when Liam Scales was able to head the ball in from a tight angle, lobbing Flora goalkeeper Matvei Igonen. On the following attack, however, Sappinen found Miller again, just like the second goal, and the 23-year old striker got his second goal.
Flora won the opening leg 4:2 and will now travel to South Dublin on August 26 for the teams' second league match-up in the Conference League play-offs.
All six goals can be seen here:
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste