Shaw pounces to give Rovers impressive vic­tory in Ice­land

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

Gary Shaw’s first-half goal brought Sham­rock Rovers vic­tory at the Stjör­nu­völ­lur in Reykjavik last night to mark a mile­stone 100th win in Euro­pean club com­pe­ti­tion by a League of Ire­land side.

Rovers take their de­served lead, and with that vi­tal away goal, into next Thurs­day’s sec­ond leg at Tal­laght Sta­dium as Czech side Mlada Boleslav await the win­ners in the sec­ond round.

Though St­jar­nan started bet­ter, with skip­per Bal­dur Sig­urds­son pow­er­ing a header over be­fore Jo­hann Lax­dal waste­fully blazed off tar­get, Rovers passed their way into the game, trou­bling the home de­fence for the first time on 15 min­utes.

Si­mon Mad­den’s ball in from the right was loosely headed away by a de­fender. And though Bran­don Miele latched onto it, Daniel Lax­dal bravely blocked the shot from just in­side the area.

Shaw then looped a header over the cross­bar min­utes later from Bran­don Miele’s volleyed cross as Rovers vis­i­bly grew in con­fi­dence.

St­jar­nan’s Har­al­dur Bjorns­son was the first keeper to be worked just past the half hour.

Trevor Clarke’s tenac­ity set up Ro­nan Finn whose drive from dis­tance was tipped over by the home keeper. Sec­onds later, Mad­den brought the best out of Bjorns­son again with a sting­ing shot the keeper turned round a post.

The pres­sure then told on 38 min­utes as Rovers got their de­served lead.

Miele’s cor­ner from the right was only flapped away by Bjorns­son. Dave Web­ster’s ef­fort was blocked be­fore the ball broke for Shaw to stab home from close range.

Rovers were well on top now and Finn brought an­other div­ing save from the over­worked Bjorns­son just be­fore the break.

The sec­ond half was less event­ful, the first open­ing not com­ing un­til 20 min­utes in as Str­jar­nan tried to chase the game.

Frid­jon­s­son found space to un­leash at drive that Tomer Chencin­ski pushed away for a cor­ner, even if it looked go­ing wide any­way.

Chencin­ski then did make his first telling save of the game on 70 min­utes, tip­ping away one-handed from Josef­s­son’s shot fol­low­ing a bit of a scram­ble in the Rovers’ area.

ST­JAR­NAN (4-3-3): Bjorns­son; J Lax­dal (Aegis­son, 87), D Lax­dal, Gud­jon­s­son, Josef­s­son; Hauks­son, Sig­urds­son, Hedins­son; Frid­jon­s­son (Fin­sen, 81), Bald­vins­son, Hall­dors­son.

SHAM­ROCK ROVERS (4-4-1-1): Chensin­ski; Mad­den, Lopes, Web­ster, Byrne; Miele, Finn, Con­nolly (Bone, 74), Clarke; Burke (Mcal­lis­ter, 81); Shaw (O’connor, 87).

Ref­eree: To­masz Mu­siał (Poland).

Pic­ture: Kristinn Mag­nus­son/in­pho

Gary Shaw scores Sham­rock Rovers’ goal against St­jar­nan at Stjör­nu­völ­lur in Ice­land last night. This was the 100th win by an Irish side in a Euro­pean club com­pe­ti­tion.

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