Rosenborg BK took a step closer to their ninth consecutive appearance in the UEFA Champions League by winning 1-0 at Republic of Ireland title-holders Bohemian FC in the second qualifying round.
Karadas goal decisive
A 35th-minute goal from Azar Karadas gave the recently appointed coach of the Norwegian champions, Åge Hareide, a first-leg victory on his European debut. Although Bohemians won two away games in their 2000/01 UEFA Cup campaign, the Dublin side have a huge task on their hands to get through to the next round and earn a meeting with RC Deportivo La Coruña.
The home side had their best effort on 27 minutes, when Glen Crowe connected with Simon Webb's cross, but the Irish international's shot went wide. Minutes before that, striker Frode Johnsen caused panic in the home defence but right-back Damien Lynch cleared the danger.
Bohemians manager Stephen Kenny had warned his players that Rosenborg posed their biggest threat from corner kicks, and so it proved. Harald Brattbakk floated in a flag kick which was met by a flying header from the unmarked Karadas, and his effort sailed past Bohemians goalkeeper Shay Kelly.
Chances at both ends
Just before half-time, Rosenborg goalkeeper Espen Johnsen was tested by Barry Ryan and Kevin Hunt, and after the break Bohemians defender Colin Hawkins had another good chance from Ryan's corner kick. At the other end, Christer George almost doubled Rosenborg's lead with a chip on 56 minutes which went over the bar, and Frode Johnsen had another effort go wide eleven minutes later.
Lynch denies Johnsen
Kenny made changes and substitute Fergal Harkin almost secured the equaliser with a shot on 86 minutes. Seconds later, Bohemians needed an excellent saving header from Lynch to prevent Frode Johnsen from scoring and keep the Irish champions in contention in next Wednesday's return in Trondheim.
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