Football: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOAKIM! UEFA CUP: GLENTORAN 0 ELFSBORG 1 Late Strike a Glens Sickener

The Mirror (London, England), August 13, 2004 | Go to article overview

Football: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOAKIM! UEFA CUP: GLENTORAN 0 ELFSBORG 1 Late Strike a Glens Sickener


Byline: MARTIN MAWHINNEY

A LATE winner from Joakim Alexandersson has left Glentoran facing an uphill struggle they little deserve after a promising performance against IF Elfsborg last night.

The Swedish Cup winners were reduced to 10 men after 39 minutes, but Glens boss Roy Coyle will feel that his side produced enough to show that they have every chance of making the the first round proper of this tournament.

They certainly used their home advantage to the full, with the crowd really fired up to create the special sort of atmosphere they hoped would set up a European night to remember.

And in keeping with the general buzz around the ground, it was the Oval side who looked the more eager in the early stages of the match.

However, before they were allowed to create any opportunities of their own, their defensive capabilities were tested on two minutes, with Eliott Morris stretching to keep out Hans Berggren's powerful shot from from outside the box.

And there were very little worries for the home defence two minutes later, as they watched Samuel Holmen collect from a corner and blast yards over the bar to bring one of the loudest cheers of the opening half.

Then it was time for Glentoran to push into the visitors half. A dangerous Keegan cross looked to be heading the way of Darren Lockhart, but keeper Johan Wiland came out to save confidently.

Keegan threatened again moments later as he picked out Stephen Parkhouse with a searching pass, but he was narrowly caught offside.

The Elfsborg keeper was placed under the microscope once more, as he tipped over from a tricky Parkhouse cross in the 16th minute.

And he really showed his vulnerability as he fumbled from Shaun Holmes' resulting corner, but his blushes were spared as the defence cleared to safety.

To their credit, the Swedes controlled the majority of play from here, and they came closest of all on 24 minutes, when Magnus Samuelson clipped the outright from just inside the 18-yard area.

They were also unlucky not to hit the target with Berggren's 25-yard kick, which flew harmlessly over.

So far, it had not been a night of particularly impressive set-pieces, and Glentoran continued the trend on the half-hour mark, as Kevin Keegan earned his side a useful, but ultimately fruitless free-kick on the edge of the area.

Then came the moment that promised to change the whole course of the match. Johan Sloberg appeared to push Parkhouse in an off-the ball incident in the visitors' box, and amid a chorus of boos and jeers, the Ukraine referee produced a red card to end the Elfsborg skipper's game. …

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