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Molde 3-0 Shamrock Rovers

Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of what is a big game for Shamrock Rovers.

The Irish side started off the group stages with a creditable 0-0 draw at home to Djurgarden but followed that up with a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Gent.

The latter game was part of a dismal away record that Rovers have had in Europe this season, and they will be looking to reverse that trend in Norway tonight.

Erling Moe’s side are level with the Hoops on one point at the bottom of the group following a 3-2 defeat to Djurgarden in the last round, behind Gent and Djurgarden who both have four points.

Consequently, a victory would put Stephen Bradley’s men right back in contention to qualify, while a loss would significantly damage their hopes of progression.

Kick-off for the match is at 5.45pm Irish time.

Confirmation of the Rovers team below with some notable calls, including Jack Byrne on the bench as well as starts for 17-year-old Justin Ferizaj and 18-year-old Aidomo Emakhu.

Who do you think will win?


Poll Results:

Molde (220)
Shamrock Rovers (77)
Draw (56)



Confirmation of Molde’s team…

It’s been a cagey opening.

Rovers had a decent spell in possession early on but Molde are on the front foot as I type and Dan Cleary is in the right position to clear a low cross.

Molde lead and it’s a disappointing goal to concede from a Rovers perspective.

They fail to deal with a ball into the area and it breaks for Brynhildsen, who finishes clinically.

Shamrock Rovers remain under the cosh.

Lyons does well to block Linnes’ goalbound shot.

The Irish team need to settle down here or this game could be ended as a contest prematurely. 

ronan-finn-sean-hoare-and-daniel-cleary-after-their-side-conceded-a-goal Rovers’ Ronan Finn, Sean Hoare and Daniel Cleary after their side conceded a goal. Source: Srdan Mudrinic/INPHO

Mannus gets down well to save Eriksen’s shot after Finn gives the ball away cheaply.

From a subsequent set piece, the ball in defects off O’Neill and goes just wide.

It’s all Molde, at the minute.

Breivik’s ball in falls nicely for Haugon, who heads wide from close range.

It feels like a matter of when rather than if Molde score right now — the hosts have been the far superior team.

Rovers are really struggling at the moment.

The main problem is they can’t keep hold of the ball for more than a few seconds.

And on the rare occasions that they do get it, they’re too tired from chasing it to do anything with it.

Another chance for Molde!

Eriksen’s cross finds Hussain, whose first-time finish goes narrowly wide.

Molde are still dominating possession in recent minutes.

However, Rovers have steadied the ship somewhat and are looking less defensively vulnerable when the hosts attack.

Mannus tips over a dangerous cross from Linnes.

The same player fires well over after the subsequent corner is half-cleared by Emakhu.

Half-time and the only positive for Rovers is that they haven’t conceded more.

Molde have been thoroughly dominant and have spurned a number of good chances.

The hosts have had 58% possession and registered 14 attempts on goal, compared with zero for the visitors.

The Irish side have been more conservative in their approach in contrast with the game last month in Gent, which was effectively all over by half-time.

Stephen Bradley’s side can take heart from the fact that there is still only one goal in it, but they will need to be much better in the second half to avoid another day to forget on the road in Europe this season.

An awful start to the second half by Rovers, as Molde double their advantage.

Eriksen finds space in the area and his shot comes off the crossbar, but Brynhildsen is on hand to convert the rebound from close range, beating Finn to the bouncing ball and heading into the empty net.

Another blow for Shamrock Rovers.

Emakhu is down and has to come off after falling awkwardly amid a collision with Finn.

It’s a like-for-like replacement, as Gaffney is set to come on in the teenager’s place.

Any faint hopes of a Rovers comeback are now over.

An attempted cross from Linnes hits the bar and it falls kindly for Hussain, who hammers it home emphatically.

Byrnhildsen gets booked after sliding into Mannus when attempting to go for the ball.

It looks a painful one for the goalkeeper but he appears okay to continue.

Moments later, Shamrock Rovers register their first attempt on goal. 

The Molde defence don’t deal with a long ball and Gaffney’s ambitious attempt finds the side netting.

As I type, Brynhildsen’s flick-on from a corner goes just wide — Rovers have struggled to convincingly defend set pieces all night.

Two more Rovers changes.

The youngster Ferizaj, who hasn’t made much of an impact, is replaced by Neil Farrugia.

In addition, Roberto Lopes makes his return in place of Ronan Finn.

Changes for Molde.

Linnes is replaced by Bolly, Eikrem comes on for Grodem and Kaasa takes the place of Maansverk.

Eriksen crosses for Byrnhildsen, whose low shot on the turn is comfortably saved by Mannus.

He looks eager to complete the hat trick.

Further changes for Rovers.

Dylan Watts comes on for his 11th appearance in Europe this season, replacing Greene.

In addition, Graham Burke is on for Kavanagh.

It’s 23-1 to Molde in terms of attempts on goal as it stands.

That gives you a decent idea of how the match has panned out, with the visitors offering minimal attacking threat.

Great save by Mannus to deny Hussain, whose powerful shot on the edge of the area is turned behind for a corner.

The final whistle can’t come soon enough for Rovers.

There will be two minutes of time added on.

Nothing much has happened in the last few minutes.

So that’s that.

A disappointing night for Rovers.

The Irish side didn’t manage a shot on target and had only two attempts on goal compared with 26 for the hosts, which highlights how one-sided the game was.

It was a conservative display from the Hoops and felt like an exercise in damage limitation at times and a reaction to the match in Gent, which was effectively all over by half-time.

With the likes of Jack Byrne and Rory Gaffney on the bench, a weakened starting XI struggled to keep the ball for a sustained period, and they were ultimately outclassed by their Norwegian opponents.

The only positive is that the victory margin wasn’t bigger, with the Irish side needing a big response when they face Shelbourne at the weekend.

daniel-cleary-and-lee-grace-dejected-after-their-side-conceded-their-third-goal Rovers’ Daniel Cleary and Lee Grace dejected after their side conceded their third goal. Source: Srdan Mudrinic/INPHO

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow shortly.

Gavin Cooney
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