FC MIDTJYLLAND 6 - 1 Derry City: Derry City suffered a heavy defeat in Denmark last night — their worst in European competition as a League of Ireland club — Kenny Shiels side no match for a quality FC Midtiylland.
In fact, the Danes had ended this game as a contest when leading 3-0 at the half-time interval and, if the truth be told, it could have been more.
Failure to successfully defend two early set-piece situations proved costly, before the Candystripes conceded a penalty minutes before the break to end Derry’s involvement in this competition.
Drawn against one of the top seeded teams in the Europa League, the physically strong Danish side, laden with international players from all over the world, will be expected to go far this season.
Derry got off to the worst possible start in the city of Herning when conceding the opening goal after just four minutes. Nicky Low conceded a free-kick just outside the penalty area and when the ball was delivered into the danger area, Del Hendi rose unchallenged to head home at the back post.
Derry did manage to settle and, indeed, Aaron McEneff and Nathan Boyle, both threatened with half chances but they failed to hit the target.
Worryingly, Midtiylland doubled their lead in the 15th minute and, again, it was very much down to a case of poor defending. The ball was floated into the danger area and Kristian Riis raced into the box to simply side-foot the ball home from close range and Derry were in danger of facing embarrassment.
However the Candystripes refused to allow their heads drop with young Ben Doherty threatening while Rory Patterson stung the palms of Midtiylland’s debutante keeper, Jesper Hansen, in the 24th minute with a ferocious shot.
Derry conceded that killer third goal, three minutes before the break. Ger Doherty, who did well to deny home striker, Paul Onuachu, in a one-on-one situation in the 35th minute, turned villain in the 42nd minute when he brought the towering Nigerian down to earth, the Austrian referee pointing immediately to the spot. Up stepped Midtiylland captain, Jacob Poulsen, who drove the ball firmly into the net for a 3-0 advantage.
Minutes after the break, the lively Ronan Curtis appeared to have been clipped when racing into the Danish side’s penalty area, but the match official refused to take any action.
Striker, Onuachu, was called ashore in the 57th minute and while Derry will have been delighted to see him depart, the home side then made it 4-0 within two minutes of that substitution.
A long ball from Del Hende saw Simon Kroon race forward and he gleefully drove the ball home to make it 4-0.
And the same player made it 5-0 just minutes later as Derry continued to struggle.
With the game now out of reach, the visitors refused to give up and, indeed, they netted an away goal in the 66th minute. Nathan Boyle dispossessed a defender in a dangerous situation and when he squared the ball to Curtis, he made no mistake when beating Hansen from close quarters.
Poulsen crashed the ball off the upright in the 79th minute before substitute, Kraev made it 6-1.
J Hansen; A Remer, Z Korcsmar, K Riis, M Del Hende; T Sparv, J Poulsen, J Drachmann; R Hassan (B Kraev, 72), P Onuachu (A Sorloth, 57), Kroon.
G Doherty; H Monaghan (Schubert, 63), A Barry, D Jarvis, B Doherty; N. Low, A McEneff, R Holden, R Curtis; N Boyle (Timlin, 85); R Patterson (Daniels, 74).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved