Levadia Tallinn 0 Cork City 2
Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie’s goals in each half have Cork City dreaming of a trip to Cyprus next month after they scored an historic victory over Levadia Tallinn in their first ever European fixture in Estonia this evening.
43: GOAAAL @CorkCityFC.June 29, 2017
Buckley’s goal in the 43rd minute came exactly a minute after Levadia had Cameroon centre-back Tabi Manga sent off for a second yellow card and yet another foul on Seanie Maguire while Beattie put the icing on the cake with a real beauty eight minutes from the end.
82: GOAAAALLL @CorkCityFC!— eir Sport (@eirSport) June 29, 2017
Skipper Greg Bolger rolled a short free kick to Buckley and his low drive found the net zipping in under the defensive wall to give the Leesiders a precious away goal and a 1-0 advantage at half-time at the opened ended but picturesque Rannastaadion in Parnu, south of Tallinn.
John Caulfield’s side had to overcome the loss of skipper Alan Bennett who failed a late fitness test on a damaged ankle injury before kick-off and that allowed Conor McCormack to act as an emergency centre-back with Greg Bolger coming into midfield to captain the team in Europe for the first time.
Cork were comfortable and the more offensive team from the kick-off and once they scored the Igor Prins’ home team looked a beaten side.
Apart from Buckley’s goal, City’s Seanie Maguire, Kevin O’Connor and Stephen Dooley were all denied and but for a wonderful one-handed save by Lapmets in the home goal from Maguire’s header on the end of O’Connor’s corner the FAI Cup holders would have been two goals up.
Levadia were close to an equaliser when Krznaric crashed a shot off the underside of the bar with just over 10 minutes to play.
The return leg is back at Turner’s Cross on next Thursday night and the overall winners will progress to the second qualifying round and a match up with either AEK Larnaca from Cyprus or the Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar with the away leg first.
Levadia Tallinn (4-2-3-1) - Lepmets; Dudarev, Manga, Podholjuzin, Gando; Krznaric, Roosnupp; Marin, Morelli, Kobzar; Hunt (capt)
Subs. Artjunin for Roosnupp (44 mins), Andreev for Marin (71 mins), Teever for Kozbar (88 mins), Raudsepp, Pikker, Mutso & Kuusma (not used)
Cork City (4-2-3-1) - McNulty; Keohane, McCormack, Delaney, O’Connor; Bolger (capt), Morrissey; Sheppard, Buckley, Dooley; Maguire.
Subs. Beattie for Sheppard (68 mins), Campion for Buckley (74 mins), Ellis, Griffin, O’Mahony, McCarthy & Smith (not used)
Referee: Jorgen Burchardt (Denmark)
Official attendance: 1,200