FC København have edged ahead in their UEFA Champions League qualifying tie with Shamrock Rovers FC after sealing a 1-0 triumph at the Parken Stadium.
The hosts, who reached the round of 16 of the competition last season, will be confident of progressing to the play-offs again after holding on to a lead they took when Sölvi Ottesen struck with a fourth-minute header.
Defender Ottesen – who scored twice in København's 2-2 draw against Odense BK in the Danish Super League last Saturday – put his side ahead when he rose to meet Pierre Bengtsson's well-placed cross after his initial corner had been cleared.
Thereafter FCK dominated the first half and Pape Paté Diouf, a new signing from Molde FK, was guilty of missing three presentable chances when he sent shots over the bar on 22 and 27 minutes and then had a header saved by Shamrock goalkeeper Ryan Thompson four minutes before the interval.
Diouf's profligacy allowed Shamrock to get back into the game and the visitors came close to an equaliser when Ottesen's mistimed clearance gave Billy Dennehy a golden opportunity to score from close range, but the midfielder failed to capitalise.
There were chances for both sides in an open second half, the best of which fell to København midfielder Christian Grindheim, whose powerful 66th-minute strike from range was wonderfully saved by the alert Thompson. The Danish champions made do with the one-goal victory and a slender advantage to take into the second leg in Dublin on 2 August.
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