By Denis Hurley
Cork City’s interest in the Champions League is over after they were seen off by Legia Warsaw in the first qualifying round second leg in Poland tonight.
Trailing by a goal after last week’s first leg at Turner’s Cross, City put in a good shift as they contained their hosts for opening 25 minutes though without creating any clear-cut opportunities, but their task was made harder as they conceded soon after that.
From a delivery into the area by Legia defender Mateusz Wieteska, Cafu beat goalkeeper Peter Cherrie to the ball and did well to steer it back to striker José Kanté, who finished well.
Karl Sheppard did go close to a long-range equaliser just after that and also had an opportunity in the opening minute of the second half, though Cherrie had to save well at the feet of Kanté on 54.
City pressed again after that, with Graham Cummins unlucky not to reach a Barry McNamee cross, but the game and the tie were put to bed on 73 after Miroslav Radovic was fouled by Conor McCormack for a penalty, which the attacker converted himself.
Legia, who now progress to meet Zrinjski Mostar or Spartak Trnava, had a third goal from substitue Carlitos at the very end, set up by Radovic and Krsyzstof Maczynski.
City now drop into the Europa League third qualifying round next month.
LEGIA WARSAW: Malarz; Remy, Astiz, Wieteska (Antolic 69); Vesovic, Cafu, Maczynski, Nagy, Kucharczyk (Hlousek half-time); Radovic, Kanté (Carlitos 64).
CORK CITY: Cherrie; Beattie (Kane 79), Delaney, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Buckley (Sadlier 79); Sheppard, Keohane, McNamee; Cummins (O’Hanlon 79).
Referee: KE Steen (Norway).