And while Declan Devine’s side were outclassed for much of the match, Trabzonspor will arrive on Foyleside with more than a tinge of doubt in their minds as they failed to kill off the tie last night after big away goals from David McDaid and Paddy Kavanagh give Derry plenty to dwell on.
Hoping to keep a disciplined shape was Derry’s game plan, but they were all too easily cut open by a side fielding five full internationals and found themselves 2-0 down inside 15 minutes.
Winger Volkan Sen, a Turkish international, was involved as Trabzonspor got the early lead on 10 minutes as Poland international Adrian Mierzejewski worked a one-two with Sen to play Adin in on the left. Ger Doherty made a good stop with his feet, but the ball spun into the air with Mierzejewski’s overhead kick deflecting to the net off Eoghan Osborne’s knee.
Trabzonspor doubled their lead five minutes later.
Adin left fly from some 25 yards off his left foot, Doherty spilled the slippy ball and Brazilian Paulo Henrique was on to it in a flash to scoop the loose ball to the net.
Rattled they may have been, but a piece of opportunism by McDaid got Derry right back into the game on 24 minutes. A mistake by Argentinian midfielder Gustavo Colman gifted the ball to McDaid who then touched it through the legs of Giray Kacar before rifling a stunning left-footer to the corner of Onur Kivrak’s net.
Incredibly, Derry then levelled on 32 minutes with a textbook counter-attack. Barry Molloy brilliantly won a tackle on the edge of his own box before playing a sublime ball in behind for the run of Paddy Kavanagh, who cut inside and fired to the bottom corner of the net with the help of a deflection for a big first goal for the club.
However, Trabzonspor regained the lead six minutes before the break.
Barry McNamee was harshly penalised for a challenge on Sen on the right. Adin whipped in the free-kick with plenty of pace and the ball flew into the Derry net off the head of Molloy.
Trabzonspor came out with added intent in the second half and had a goal disallowed before Kacar scored with a downward header from Mierzejewski’s corner to add their fourth goal.
Substitute Ryan McBride then almost snatched a third for Derry two minutes into stoppage time but he drilled his shot narrowly wide.
TRABZONSPOR: Kivrak; Yavru, Kacar, Yumlu, Celustka; Akgun, Colman; Sen (Oztekin 80), Mierzejewski (Gomes Da Costa 67), Adin; Henrique (Gural 75).
DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, Greacen, S McEleney, Osborne; Kavanagh (McBride 64), Molloy, Higgins, P McEleney (Duffy 73); B McNamee; McDaid (Griffin 86).
Referee: Artyom Kuchin (Kazakhstan).