Cork City will need to score in Poland next week after they fell to a 79th-minute goal from Legia Warsaw’s Michael Kucharczyk at Turner’s Cross on Tuesday evening.
Having performed well, City were caught napping as Krzysztof Maczynski rolled a free kick to left wing back Kucharzczyk, who curled a beautiful 30-yard effort to the top corner of Peter Cherrie’s net.
While it was hard to argue that Legia had been the better team overall, City had had chances to open the scoring. In the first half, Barry McNamee squandered an opportunity after he had intercepted a loose defensive pass while Jimmy Keohane was unlucky not to get on the end of a Gearóid Morrissey cross, though against that, Sebastian Szymanski twice went close for Legia.
From a corner early in the second half, Damien Delaney and Conor McCarthy had half-chances for City and then, Graham Cummins, on for the injured Gearóid Morrissey, was put in by Barry McNamee but he couldn’t get enough on his shot and Arkadiusz Malarz saved.
Thereafter, Legia began to apply more pressure, though good City defending was limiting them to long-range efforts. Unfortunately for John Caulfield’s side, Kucharczyk’s proved to be crucial.
Cherrie; McCarthy (Beattie 60), Delaney, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Morrissey (Cummins 52); Keohane, Buckley, McNamee (Sadlier 82); Sheppard.
Malarz; Remy, Astiz, Wieteska; Vesovic, Maczynski, Cafu, Szymanski (Nagy 76), Kucharczyk; Kante (Hlousek 76), Hamalainen (Kulenovic 82).
RM Petrescu (Romania).