Hibernians suffered a 3-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday.
The score is too harsh on the Paolites as although the hosts were clearly a better side during the first half, taking a well-deserved two goal lead, Hibernians played a good second half and were unlucky to hit the woodwork twice. Late in the game, Shamrock Rovers scored a third goal to seal the issue.
With Ferdinando Apap, Andrei Agius, Bjorn Kristensen and Jake Grech all ruled out through suspension along with coach Stefano Sanderra, Ryan Pulis handed Gonzalo Llerena, Gabriel Mensah and Rodolfo Soares their debut as they were named in the starting line-up. Another two new signings – Terence Groothusen and Lorenso Soares Fonseca – were included as substitutes.
Shamrock Rovers took the lead on the 25th minute when off a cross by Rory Gaffney from the left, Ronan Finn hit home past goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.
Five minutes from the end of the second half, they doubled the score when off another cross by Gaffney, Dylan Watts slotted the ball past the Hibs goalkeeper.
Hibs were a completely different side in the second half and on the 52nd minute, substitute Terence Groothusen was unlukcy to hit the crossbar with a powerful drive from outside the area.
Eleven minutes later, Degabriele sent Thaylor Aldama through on the right but his low shot hit the foot of the post.
However twelve minutes from time, Rory Gaffney, served by Emakhu, beat Kone with a diagonal shot from the right.
The second leg is scheduled for Tuesday 12 at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 20:00.
The first qualifying round winners advance to the second qualifying round while defeated teams transfer to the UEFA Europa Conference League Champions Path second qualifying round.
The winner would face the winner of the clash between PFC Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria and FK Sutjeska Niksic of Montenegro in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round.
On the other hand, the eliminated side would enter the champions path of the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round where they would face Levadia Tallinn of Estonia.
SHAMROCK Alan Mannus, Sean Hoare, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Dylan Watts (80′ Richie Towell), Ronan Finn (81′ Sean Gannon), Aaron Greene (67′ Aidomo Emakhu), Gary O’Neill, Rory Gaffney (85′ Justin Ferizaj), Andrew Lyons, Chris McCann.
HIBS Ibrahim Kone, Gonzalo Llerena, Jurgen Degabriele, Dunstan Vella, Zachary Grech (90′ Lucas Caruana), Gabriel Mensah (46′ Terence Groothusen), Thaylor Aldama (81′ Ayrton Attard), Joseph Zerafa (90′ Lorenzo Soares Fonseca), Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Ali Diakite, Rodolfo Soares
Referee Morten Krogh DEN
Assistant referees: Jesper Dahl, Lars Hummelgaard DEN
Fourth Official: Mikkel Redder DEN