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Premiership

BLUES MAKE CONFERENCE LEAGUE EXIT

12 Aug 2021
football
© INPHO/Ben Majerus Chris Shields in action for Linfield in Luxembourg
Linfield exited the UEFA Conference League following a 2-1 defeat to Fola Esch this evening in the Stade Josy Barthel in Luxembourg.
 
The Blues trailed 2-1 from the first leg last Tuesday at Windsor Park and knew they needed a positive result in order to progress the group stage play-off round.
 
And based on chances created they did more than enough but a failing to find the target ultimately cost them.
 
Skipper Jamie Mulgrew created an early opportunity which keeper Emanuel Cabral turned around an upright while, towards the break, Niall Quinn skimmed the crossbar with the ball falling for Stephen Fallon who could only fire wide.
 
Moving into the second half Quinn saw a further two efforts saved in quick succession before Trai Hume looped a header just over.
 
Christy Manzinga then directed another header onto the woodwork, Michael Newberry's follow-up was turned away for a corner and from the set piece Sam Roscoe-Byrne's effort was blocked on the line.
 
But, unfortunately for Linfield, Fola broke immediately down the other end for Bruno Ramírez to open the scoring on the night after 69 minutes.
 
Now requiring two goals to at least force extra-time both Manzinga and Andrew Clarke had chances before, with a minute remaining, Roscoe-Byrne did find the net with a header from a Manzinga ball.
 
However, Fola made sure of their progression deep into stoppage time when Rodrigo Parreira converted from the spot after Hume was adjudged to have brought down Diogo Pimentel.
 
Fola Esch: Cabral, Diogo Pimentel, Gilson Delgado, Bensi, Frere, Boutrif, Omosanya, Ouassiero, Grisez, Klein, Mustafić subs Hym (not used), da Costa (not used), Dikaba (not used), Cristiano Pascoal (not used), Muharemović (not used), Caron (replaced Bensi 40), Rodrigo Parreira (replaced Mustafić 79), Dragović (replaced Omosanya 63), Correia (not used), Simon (not used), Almada Correia (not used), Bruno Ramírez (replaced Boutrif 63)
 
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe-Byrne, Newberry, Shields, Millar, Hume, M. Clarke, Fallon, Mulgrew, Chadwick, Quinn subs Williamson (not used), Walsh (not used), Larkin (not used), Manzinga (replaced Chadwick 61), Nasseri (not used), Pepper (not used), Salam (replaced Quinn 73), A. Clarke (replaced Mulgrew 73), Palmer (not used), Carroll (not used)