Rovers suffered comprehensive defeat to Ferencváros in Europa qualifier
Shamrock Rovers have been left with a mountain to climb in the UEFA Europa League play-off round after losing 4-0 to Hungary’s Ferencváros in Budapest this evening.
In addition to a double from Adama Traore, Carlos Auzqui and Eldar Ćivić were also on target for the hosts.
The prospect of reaching the Europa League group stages now seems unlikely for Rovers ahead of next week’s return leg in Tallaght, but they will at least be able to take solace in the form of the Conference League group stages.
The Hungarians were perilously close to taking the lead in the eighth-minute, when Ryan Mmaee curled a shot against the post.
This was a sign of things to come and the hosts eventually broke the deadlock through Auzqui’s side-footed finish at a right-hand angle five minutes later.
Rovers were doing their best to keep Ferencváros at bay and Kilnamanagh native Aaron Greene was toiling to good effect alongside Rory Gaffney up front.
However, Mmaee forced a save from Hoops netminder Alan Mannus on the first-quarter mark and the Moroccan international hit the post for a second time on 34 minutes.
Mmaee is rumoured to be a target of Scottish Premiership champions Celtic and he unselfishly squared the ball for Traore to tap-in his side’s second goal of the half.
This propelled Ferencváros towards a 2-0 interval cushion, which – by extension – left Rovers with an uphill task on the restart.
Any hopes they had of securing a positive result on the night quickly evaporated three minutes into the second half.
Although Mannus had pulled off a fine stop from a Ferencváros counter-attack, Gannon passed the ball straight to Traore for a simple finish to the net.
The home team continued to pursue scores from there with Mmaee having a brace of gilt-edged opportunities.
Jack Byrne, Neil Farrugia and Inchicore’s Richie Towell were all introduced on the hour and their presence did elevate the Rovers performance.
Yet, Ferencváros continued to pose the greater attacking threat. Mannus was doing all within his powers to keep the deficit at three goals, but the Hungarians created further daylight with a stoppage-time strike from Eldar Ćivić.