PA David Healy, dejected at full-time.
Linfield suffer European heartbreak after late collapse
David Healy’s side were on course for historic qualification for the Conference League, but conceded a 120th minute own goal and then lost on penalties.

LINFIELD WERE DENIED a piece of history in the cruellest fashion possible against Latvian outfit RFS in their Europa Conference League play-off at Windsor Park. 

David Healy’s side were on course to become the first team from Northern Ireland to qualify for the group stage of a European competition when Kyle McClean’s 104th-minute, extra-time goal put them 3-2 up on aggregate.

But in time added on in the additional period, Linfield wasted a three-on-one counter-attacking opportunity, from which their opponents launched their own attack. It ended with Jimmy Callacher scoring an own goal, slicing a clearance onto the underside of his own crossbar, which sent the tie to a penalty shoot-out.

And the evening ended in heartbreak for Linfield as Matthew Clarke and Ethan Devine both missed from the spot to hand RFS a 4-2 shoot-out win.

Linfield had dominated throughout the initial 90 minutes, with Robbie McDaid and Sam Roscoe coming close in front of 4,742 fans at Windsor Park.

Linfield’s misery is deepened by the facts of the first leg, which Linfield led 2-0 before conceding goals in the 88th and then 96th minute. 

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