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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 24 November 2020

No fairytale ending for Maguire and O'Connor as Cork City bow out of Europe

The runaway SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders lost 1-0 on the night to AEK Larnaca.

The Cork City fans leave the pitch.
The Cork City fans leave the pitch.
Image: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

AEK Larnaca 1
Cork City 0
(2-0 on aggregate)

CORK CITY ARE out of the Europa League after going down 1-0 to AEK Larnaca in this evening’s second qualifying round second leg.

Having been beaten by the same scoreline at Turner’s Cross a week ago, John Caulfield’s side faced an uphill battle to turn the tie around in Cyprus.

Top scorer Sean Maguire and full-back Kevin O’Connor both started in their last game for the club before moving to Preston North End.

However, there was no fairytale ending to life with the Leesiders. Shortly after Stephen Dooley had struck just wide, French striker Florian Taulemesse bagged an opportunistic goal for the home side on 33 minutes.

Conor McCormack’s clearance fell to Jorge Lorena on the edge of the box and the Spaniard’s effort came off a Cork body before Florian headed past Mark McNulty.

Larnaca frustrated their opponents throughout the second half and Caulfield introduced a trio of substitutes — Achille Campion, Kieran Sadlier and Karl Sheppard — after the hour-mark.

However, Cork were unable to open their account and the best chance saw Maguire go on a good run before shooting straight at goalkeeper Juan Pablo in injury-time.

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The defeat means all four of the League of Ireland’s representatives in Europe have now bowed out.

After the final whistle, Maguire gave his jersey away to a young Cork City fan.

Sean Maguire gives his jersey to a young fan after playing his last game for the club Source: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

AEK LARNACA: Juan Pablo, Marios Antoniades, Joan Truyols, Daniel Mojsov, David Catala, Larena Jorge, Joan Tomas (Tete 72), Ivan Trickovski, Hector Hevel, Vincent Laban, Florian.

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Stephen Beattie, Ryan Delaney, Conor McCormack, Kevin O’Connor, Jimmy Keohane (Karl Sheppard 67), Greg Bolger, Garry Buckley (Kieran Sadlier 61), Stephen Dooley (Achille Campion 61), Gearoid Morissey, Sean Maguire.

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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