Rovers made to suffer by Swedes

Shamrock Rovers FC 1-3 Djurgårdens IF Djurgården withstand early onslaught.

Shamrock Rovers FC 1-3 Djurgårdens IF FF
Djurgårdens IF FF's large travelling support had plenty to sing about in Dublin as the Stockholm club took a 3-1 win away from their UEFA Cup qualifying round first leg meeting with Shamrock Rovers FC. The Swedes were able to withstand some early pressure from the Irish side and were comfortable winners, reproducing their impressive form in the Allsvenskan on the European stage.

Strong start
Rovers made an encouraging start to the game, their first match back in the UEFA Cup since 1994, and Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Richie Byrne tested Djurgården goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson after only seven minutes with a 25-metre effort, drawing a fine save. Jason Colwell went close with shots on 12 and 16 minutes as Rovers heaped the early pressure on the Swedish defence. The Dublin club then had their best effort midway through the first half when Noel Hunt raced down the left wing and sent in a cross which Seán Francis put wide.

Rovers punished
The home side paid the price for their missed chances when Samuel Wowoah found himself in space in the Rovers box on 23 minutes and scored with ease. Eight minutes later Wowoah almost doubled his tally after Rovers keeper Robbie Horgan lost possession on the edge of the penalty area but managed to recover before the Djurgården marksman could take possession.

Parity short-lived
Four minutes into the second half Rovers drew level when Stephen McGuinness headed past Isaksson from a Greg Costello corner, but Babis Stefanidis quickly restored Djurgården's lead. The Swedes went on to put themselves in the driving seat for the return leg in Stockholm on 29 August when Kim Källström wrapped up the scoring from an Andreas Johansson pass 20 minutes from full time.