Europa League qualifier first leg: IF Fuglafjordur 0-2 Linfield

Linfield's skipper Michael Gault in action against IF Fuglafjordur

Linfield achieved only the second European away win in their history with a victory over Faroe Islands outfit IF Fuglafjordur in the Europa League qualifier first leg.

Summer signing Andrew Waterworth put the Blues ahead on 68 minutes.

Waterworth was forced off moments later by injury but his replacement Philip Lowry doubled Linfield's advantage on 74 minutes with a good turn and shot.

The second leg takes place at Windsor Park next Wednesday.

However, the Blues will now be strong favourites to progress to a second qualifying round meeting with Greek outfit Skoda Xanthi.

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David Jeffrey is delighted by his team's 2-0 Europa League first-leg away win over IF Fuglafjordur

Keeper Alan Blayney, summer signing Mark Haughey and Sean Ward were among the Linfield absentees in the Faroe Islands but new recruits Jonathan Tuffey, James Knowles and Waterworth all started.

Manager David Jeffrey opted for an attacking line-up with Matthew Tipton and Michael Carvill also joining Waterworth in the Linfield team.

Linfield beat another side from the Faroe Islands, B36 Torshavn, after a penalty shoot-out in the Champions League first qualifying round last year.

But that win came after two 0-0 draws and Linfield's only previous away victory in a European tie came way back in the 1966-67 season when the Blues earned a 4-1 success over Norwegian club Valerengen (now Valerenga).

Linfield, who have won a record 51 Irish League titles, did look hesitant early on in Wednesday's game with Bartal Eliassen and Ari Ellingsgaard both going close for Fuglafjordur.

But the Blues gradually began to settle and they had two first-half penalty claims turned down by Latvian referee Aleksandrs Anufrijevs after Waterworth and Tipton had appeared to be bundled over in the area.

Tipton also headed a first-half chance straight at keeper Hallgrim Hansen but Michael Gault, playing in central defence, had to make a vital block to deny Ossur Dalbud at the other end before the interval.

Waterworth tested the keeper after the restart while Ellingsgaard blazed over a great chance for the Faroes outfit on 64 minutes.

The miss proved crucial as Waterworth flicked Linfield ahead four minutes later with a neat close-range finish.

His replacement Lowry produced a turn and finish within six minutes to double Linfield's advantage.

Knowles almost made it 3-0 on 80 minutes with keeper Hansen doing well to save the midfielder's free-kick.

Fuglafjordur produced late pressure, with Dalbud having an effort blocked in injury-time, but the Blues defence held firm as Linfield maintained their two-goal cushion ahead of next Wednesday's return leg.

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