Top-flight Estonian football club Paide Linnameeskond lost the first leg of its UEFA Conference League clash as home to Anderlecht, 2:0, meaning the latter go in to the second leg at home, with two away goals. The aggregate winner goes through to the playoffs of the Conference League, the third tier of European football and a competition only in its second season.
Lior Refaelov (10') and Fabio Silva (40') were on target for the Belgian club (see video below).
While Paide had several chances, and the statistics show shots on target at four apiece for the two teams, the visitors' 'keeper, Hendrik Van Crombrugge, denied the visitors a single goal.
Paide manager Karel Voolaid said post-match that: "Certainly … I am very disappointed. On the other hand, the message of the fixture was also that 2:0 is a very difficult situation; we need one goal to breathe life back into the game. We tried as hard as we could, but, unfortunately, it didn't work out."
As to the visitors, Voolaid said: "It has to be admitted that Anderlecht played very well tactically in the first half and got the measure of us very wisely. Their attacks were of such quality that they picked out the holes very well. and it was very difficult for us to cover them. Perhaps today our defensive class was not so high. In a major way, however, we headed off a lot of other threats and the game didn't get too out-of-hand; the situation was as a football situation would, be when there's a tough opponent," adding that the team has time to recharge the batteries ahead of the second, home leg in the central Estonian town next week, given that while Paide don't have to play this weekend, Anderlecht do.
The second leg is played at Anderlecht on Thursday, August 11.
Editor: Andrew Whyte