Late strikes from Ole Jorgen Halvorsen and Steffen Hagen were more than sufficient for Odds BK to end Shamrock Rovers’ Europa League hopes at the Skagerak Arena.
Rovers craved the first goal of the game, but it never looked like coming as a measured Odds performances saw the Norwegians comfortably through to meet Elfsborg of Sweden in the third qualifying round.
The only consolation for Rovers on the night came from Gavin Brennan’s last minute goal. Save for an even opening period when Ryan Brennan headed wide from a Gary McCabe free kick, Odds dominated the first-half, Rovers’ first scare arriving on 14 minutes.
Halvorsen broke on the right to feed the run of Oliver Berg whose low pullback was well cut out by Luke Byrne. The chances were coming now for Odds with Akabueze blasting a 20-yard drive which Craig Hyland was grateful was straight at him.
With Olivier Occéan on from the start of the second-half, Odds should have been two goals up inside five minutes. A shout for handball by Rovers at one end was ignored. Odds quickly broke with Halvorsen’s cross somehow scooped over by Zekhnini.
Emil Jonassen and Occéan then combined to set up Berg who also contrived to blaze over the top from close range.
Odds made the breakthrough on 71 minutes. Byrne’s weak header was picked up by Samuelsen who skipped to the end line to cross low for Halvorsen to drill home. Home captain Hagen added the second on 85 minutes with a powerful back post header form Espen Ruud’s corner.
Rovers got some joy on 90 minutes when Gavin Brennan swept the ball home from eight yards.
Rossbach; Ruud, Eriksen (Bergan, 78), Hagen, Jonassen; Berg, Gashi, Nordkvelle (Samuelsen, 62); Halvorsen, Akabueze (Occéan, h/t), Zekhnini.
Hyland; Madden, Kenna, Webster, Byrne; McCabe, Cregg (C. Kavanagh, 67); Miele (North, 80), R. Brennan, G. Brennan; Drennan.
Marius Avram (Romania).