THURSDAY 17TH JULY
EUROPA LEAGUE – SECOND ROUND QUALIFYING – FIRST LEG
ABERDEEN 0 – 0 FC GRONINGEN
FC Groningen travelled to Aberdeen and fought out a 0-0 draw at the Pittodrie Stadium in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie.
Groningen named two new signings in their starting line-up, with former Ajax striker Danny Hoesen and goalkeeper Sergio Padt making their debuts.
The hosts created the best openings against skilful opponents who made up for their lack of speed in the team with some no-nonsense tactics at time. They were opened up on several occasions but showed enough glimpses in possession to suggest it will be a very tough test for the Scottish side in the Euroberg Stadium in seven days time.
In the first-half, Aberdeen had an appeal for a penalty rejected when captain Russell Anderson felt he was fouled in the box, with Portuguese referee Hugo Filipe waved away protests from the Dons players. And with the first half clock ticking down, Groningen almost sneaked a crucial away goal just before the half-time whistle.
Attacking left-back Hans Hateboar got the better of Jonny Hayes down the right-hand side, his cutback was deflected off Aberdeen centre-back Mark Reynolds, but Langfield was on hand to save the defender’s blushes. The loose ball then fell to Hoesen, who from an acute angle was unable to get on target.
The second half began to get a bit heated with Peter Pawlett and Hayes continuing to be the victim of unfair challenges. Groningen saw two players cautioned as tempers began to flare, first Nick van der Velden received a booking for a challenge on Hayes, while Johan Kappelhof picked up a yellow for a foul on midfielder Ryan Jack.
In the closing stages, it was Groningen once again who almost got that all important away goal. The two substitutes Jarchinio Antonia and Dino Islamovic linked up well, with the later flashing a shot the wrong side of Langfield’s near post.
ABERDEEN: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Hayes, Jack, Flood, Robson, Pawlett (Low 89), McGinn, Rooney (Goodwillie 76).
SUBS NOT USED: Brown, Taylor, Considine, Smith, Wright.
FC GRONINGEN: Padt, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Chery, Van der Velden (Islamovic 82), Hoesen (Antonia 65), Kostic.
SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Magnasco, Van Nieff, Hiariej, De Leeuw.
BOOKINGS: Hateboer, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Van der Velden.
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