Molde FK moved a step closer to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after grinding out a 1-0 win at Sligo Rovers FC.
In an even contest, Daniel Chima was the man to silence The Showgrounds, scoring his first goal of the European campaign three minutes before half-time to put Ole Gunnar Solskjær's visitors in the driving seat in the tie.
Sligo had started brightly and David McMillan could have put his side a goal up after 24 minutes. His excellent run down the right worked an opening and he managed to curl a smart low shot towards the far corner from the edge of the box, but Orjan Haskjold showed fine reflexes to get down and deflect the ball away.
Yet Molde then settled and began taking the game to their opponents. First Chima forced Sligo goalkeeper Gary Rogers into a point-blank save after the hosts had failed to clear a corner, before Jo Inge Berget struck the outside of a post after being played through beautifully.
Chima then provided the breakthrough – and did so in style. Collecting the ball on the left corner of the area, the forward cut across the box and bent a neat effort beyond Rogers and inside the far post.
Sligo controlled possession and dicated the tempo in the second half, as Molde dropped back and defended their advantange. Their well-organised back line repeatedly repelled the Irish outfit, who must find some way of penetrating the Molde defence next Tuesday if they are to extend their European campaign.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.