Shamrock Rovers 0 FC Copenhagen 2 (Copenhagen win 3-0 on aggregate)
Goals from Dame N’Doye and Christian Bolanos ended Shamrock Rovers’ Champions League dream at a sold-out Tallaght Stadium tonight.
FC Copenhagen now advance to the play-off round of UEFA’s premier competition thanks to an emphatic 3-0 aggregate over the two legs.
Rovers’ consolation sees them now enter the play-off round of the Europa League, the draw for which is made on Friday.
With a capacity crowd rocking Dublin 24, Rovers took the game to Copenhagen from the start and kept the Danish champions on the back foot for most of the first half.
Having taken control, Rovers began to create chances and midfielder Chris Turner headed against the bar from left-back Enda Stevens’ cross on 18 minutes. Minutes later, star striker Gary Twigg just failed to get on the end of another Stevens cross.
But Copenhagen, who qualified for the knockout stages last season, settled into the game and soon proved very dangerous on the counterattack.
Senegalese striker N’Doye, who missed last week’s first leg, brought the first real save out of Ryan Thompson with a low drive from outside the area on 28 minutes.
Copenhagen grew in confidence as the half wore on and they took the lead with a crucial away goal on 42 minutes to all but kill off Rovers.
A corner from Bolanos was merely helped on by a defender and N’Doye, their topscorer last season, rifled home at the back post.
In a more even second half, Rovers struggled to create chances and Copenhagen struck for their second goal on the night on 73 minutes.
Thompson initially made a terrific parry save from an N’Doye header, but Costa Rican midfielder Bolanos was there to nod in the rebound.