After snatching a 1-1 draw last week at Servette FC, Rosenborg BK are in confident mood as they prepare for their third qualifying round second leg with a place in the UEFA Europa League play-offs at stake.
In only Servette's second European tie in ten years, Jérôme Schneider's 68th-minute strike looked to have carved out a slender advantage for the Swiss side to take to Norway. Rosenborg's in-form forward Bořek Dočkal had other ideas, though, bringing Servette back to earth with his fifth goal of the qualifying campaign on 81 minutes.
Had Markus Henriksen's added-time shot hit the back of the net instead of the upright, Rosenborg would have been in an even greater position of strength with a couple of away goals. Nevertheless, coach Jan Jönsson is in little doubt about which team hold the initiative.
"We are playing quite solidly at the moment and go into the Servette match in the driving seat," said Jönsson. "I feel we were the better side in the away match. We created twice as many chances as them. I hope we can build on that at Lerkendal."
The weekend brought more cheer for Rosenborg as they beat Aalesunds FK 3-0 to consolidate third spot in the Eliteserien. The visit of Servette will be the Trondheim club's fourth outing in ten days, yet there is no sign of fatigue. "The side seems to be physically and mentally strong, so that shouldn't be a problem," Jönsson said. "As long a results go our way, the players don't appear to mind."
Servette, too, can travel with a spring in their step after earning their first Super League point of the season on Sunday when they drew 1-1 with fellow UEFA Europa League participants BSC Young Boys, who host Kalmar FF on Thursday.
Midfielder Simone Grippo, shown a stoppage-time red card, was keen to take the positives from the display. "We have to build on our performance in the first half – we played well," said Grippo. "Slowly we are getting used to the rhythm of playing in the league and in Europe."
It is a steep learning curve and, after coming so close to securing a first-leg lead, midfielder Mike Gomes knows that Servette must not let their heads drop. "We have to stay positive," he said. "We still have a chance.
"Sure, a 1-0 win would have put us in a better position, but we are still fully in the game. Details have to be improved and concentration has to be kept after scoring. Then the team should be ready for Trondheim."
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