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Hibernians bow out after goalless stalemate against Shamrock Rovers

Hibernians midfielder Ayrton Attard eyes the ball against Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi



(Shamrock Rovers win 3-0 on aggregate)


I. Kone, Z. Grech (75 G. Mensah), G. Llerna (84 A. Laursen), R. Soares (83 L. Fonseca), G. Artiles (68 J. Zerafa), A. Attard (68 Thaylor), J. Grech, A. Diakite, D. Vella, J. Degabriele, T. Groothusen.


A. Mannus, L. Grace, R, Lopes, S. Hoare, Ayons, G. O’Neill, C. McCann (77 S. Kavanagh), D. Watts (76 J. Byrne), R. Finn (78 S. Gannon), A. Greene (57 R. Towell), R. Gaffney (80 A. Emakhu).

Referee Manfredas Lukjancukas (Lithuania).

Yellow cards Soares, Degabriele, Llerna, Finn, Vella, Hoare.

Hibernians’ run in this season’s Champions League came to an end when the Paolites could not go beyond a goalless draw against Shamrock Rovers at the Centenary Stadium.

Needing to overturn a 3-0 defeat suffered in the first leg in Ireland last week, Hibernians bossed the proceedings throughout but for all their possession they struggled to create clear-cut chances.

In the end it was Shamrock who coasted through to the second qualifying round 3-0 on aggregate.

On the other hand, Hibernians will now drop to the Conference League second qualifying round when they face Levadia Tallinn, of Estonia.

Pisanu handed a start to Ayrton Attard at the expense of Joseph Zerafa.

Jake Grech, such an important player for Hibernians in last season’s title-winning campaign, was handed his first appearance of the season when he was preferred to Gabriel Mensah.

Upfront, Terence Groothusen, who had a lively cameo appearance in last week’s first leg, started ahead of Brazilian forward Thaylor Aldama.

Facing the mammoth task of overturning a three-goal deficit, Hibernians had to start the match fast and quickly tried to impose a high tempo to the match.

But for all their high percentage of possession they only had one chance to show in the first 25 minutes.

This arrived on 13 minutes when Dunstan Vella sent a low cross towards Groothusen but Roberto Lopes was on hand to clear to a corner.

Shamrock Rovers were happy to soak up the pressure and try and hit their opponents with quick counter attacks, even though they rarely managed to venture in Hibs’ half.

Hibernians produced their best chance on the stroke of half-time when Artiles sent a cross into the path of the unmarked Jurgen Degabriele but the Malta striker fired over.

Shamrock Rovers had a huge chance at the start of the second half when Rory Gaffney burst through the Hibs defence but was blocked by Kone.

As the minutes passed, Hibernians looked short of ideas as frustration was starting to creep into their game.

On 65 minutes Shamrock Rovers broke through and Gaffney tapped the ball home but the ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.

It was still Shamrock who continued to threaten and 11 minutes from time Gaffney saw his diagonal shot end wide.

Degabriele almost won it in stoppage time when he was picked up by substitute Thaylor Aldama but his shot was saved by Shamrock goalkeeper Alan Mannus.

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