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Premiership

BLUES POISED TO MAKE HISTORY

24 Aug 2022
football
© Pacemaker Press Stephen Fallon battles Cedric Kouadio for possession in the last week's first leg

Linfield are one game away from making history by becoming the first side from Northern Ireland to reach the group stages of a European competition.

The Blues welcome Latvian champions RÄ«gas Futbola Skola (RFS) in the second leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round tonight at Windsor Park, kick-off 7:45pm.

A place in the next round of UEFA's new competition awaits the winner, and with the tie poised at 2-2 following last week's first leg there really is everything to play for.

Seven days ago Linfield were in dreamland before the break as Stephen Fallon stunned the home supporters when he latched onto Kirk Millar's cross to fire home the opening goal.

The lead was doubled in style on 70 minutes by Joel Cooper when he broke down the left flank before cutting inside and drilling a shot in off the inside of the far post.

However the Blues were hit with a double blow late in the game.

Firstly, when Kevin Friesenbiercher headed home from a corner on 88 minutes and then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, a speculative long-range effort from Ziga Lupascek beat Chris Johns in the Linfield goal for the equaliser.

At the weekend Linfield continued their title defence with a 3-1 defeat of Newry at The Showgrounds while RFS needed a late equaliser to salvage a point at home to leaders Valmeira in the Virsliga.