Europa League - Qualifying Second Round - 1st Leg
IF Brommapojkarna4Crusaders0

Europa League: IF Brommapojkarna 4-0 Crusaders FC

Declan Caddell in action in Sweden
Declan Caddell went close to scoring for Crusaders

Crusaders' hopes of progressing further in the Europa League appear over after the Seaview side suffered a 4-0 first-leg defeat by Brommapojkarna in Sweden.

Dardan Rexhepi hit home the opener after nine minutes and Mauricio Albornoz cut through the defence to score the second in the 27th minute.

Jacob Larsson made it 3-0 on 62 minutes after the Crues failed to clear.

Niklas Barkroth added the fourth from the penalty spot three minutes later after he was fouled by Paul Heatley.

Barkroth sent goalkeeper Sean O'Neill the wrong way to complete a rout for the home side, who lie bottom of the Swedish Allsvenskan.

They have just one win from their last 13 league games and only qualified for Europe through the Uefa Fair Play League.

Stephen Baxter's side had several chances to score at the Tele2 Arena, with Diarmuid O'Carroll and Jordan Owens going close in the first half.

Heatley was just off-target with a curling shot, but at the other end, Craig McClean cleared off the line and O'Neill made a fine save.

Late in the game, Declan Caddell headed wide from a few yards out, Owens saw an effort saved and Colin Coates headed over.

The second leg of the second qualifying round tie will be played in north Belfast next Thursday.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter:

"We were beaten by the better team, who are maybe five grades better than us, but I'm thrilled with the effort put in by my players and we'll take a lot from this as we build and prepare for our own domestic season.

"They passed the ball incredibly quickly and well, enjoyed most of the possession and opened us up.

"But we worked incredibly hard and created some opportunities to score. There were some super performances in our side and Billy Joe Burns was our man of the match."

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