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Dominant Shamrock find no way past Ekranas

Shamrock Rovers FC 0-0 FK Ekranas
Despite a passionate second-half rally, Stephen Kenny's side were held to a goalless draw on their debut UEFA Champions League campaign.

Shamrock's Pat Sullivan is challenged by Žilvinas Kymantas of Ekranas
Shamrock's Pat Sullivan is challenged by Žilvinas Kymantas of Ekranas ©Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers FC rued missed chances after they were denied a winning start to their debut UEFA Champions League campaign by Lithuanian champions FK Ekranas.

After a subdued first half, last season's UEFA Europa League group contenders Shamrock emerged after the break with renewed purpose but failed to make their dominance count amid a cluster of wasteful finishes in a frantic finale at Tallaght Stadium. The second qualifying round tie will be decided in Lithuania next Tuesday.

Stephen Kenny's side came closest to breaking the deadlock in a nervy opening when Daryl Kavanagh found Ronan Finn with a clever through ball, but with the goal at his mercy, the midfielder shot wide. Ekranas seemed content to soak up the pressure and hit their opponents on the counter. Their plan almost came to fruition when the marauding Giedrius Tomkevičius danced past Pat Sullivan, but his inviting delivery escaped a host of expectant team-mates.

The home side were relentless in the second half but failed to capitalise. With ten minutes remaining, Finn's firm effort came back off the woodwork, while Stephen O'Donnell combined with fellow substitute Chris Turner, before firing agonisingly wide from close range.