Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 2nd Leg
Aberdeen0Shkendija0
Aberdeen win on away goals

Aberdeen 0-0 Shkendija (1-1)

Aberdeen defender Graeme Shinnie in action

Aberdeen drew a blank with Shkendija at Pittodrie to reach the second round of Europa League qualifying on away goals.

The Dons survived a nervous finish to set up a clash with Rijeka of Croatia, with Danny Ward making a fine diving save to ensure a 1-1 aggregate score.

Graeme Shinnie and Kenny McLean threatened with shots in a good spell for the hosts before half-time.

And Peter Pawlett had a fabulous long-range strike tipped onto the crossbar in a game of few chances.

Manager Derek McInnes warned before kick-off that the opponents from Macedonia would be no pushovers and he was proved right.

Shkendija gave as good as they got for long spells and nearly pinched the tie as they pressed at the death.

It took a marvellous save Ward to deny Besart Ibraimi the goal that would have taken the visitors through.

Aberdeen made it to the third round of qualifying last year before losing to Real Sociedad, and McInnes wants to at least match that again.

But it will need a much-improved display against Rijeka, who are aiming to reach the Europa League group stages for the third season running.

The task was already tougher this time round as Shkendija were far superior to Daugava Riga, who were thrashed 8-0 on aggregate at this stage last term.

The Macedonians were technically gifted and physically strong and the Dons will be encouraged to have made it through without influential defender Mark Reynolds, who dislocated his shoulder in the first game.

Andrew Considine moved to central defence with Shinnie reverting to left-back.

Peter Pawlett went close to scoring with a wonderful long-range effort
Peter Pawlett went close to scoring with a wonderful long-range effort

McLean returned to the starting line-up and those two produced the Dons' best chances of a first half that started brightly for the visitors.

Ibraimi looked particularly lively, with the Macedonia international's runs down the left causing anxiety.

He sped clear of three challenges before setting up Armend Alimi at the edge of the penalty area but the midfielder slewed his shot well wide.

Fernan Hasani created a good chance for himself shortly afterwards but hit a shot that had too much elevation to trouble Ward.

Aberdeen gradually worked their way into the game but found it tough to trouble a well organised side.

They finally produced a flurry of action in the few minutes before the break with the impressive Shinnie the catalyst.

His pace was a real asset in both defence and attack and the former Caley Thistle captain latched on to a sublime Jonny Hayes pass on 41 minutes.

His angled drive finally forced Marko Jovanovski into action with a vital block and the goalkeeper was then relieved to see McLean's shot from 30 yards fly narrowly wide soon after.

The second half followed a similar pattern, plenty of controlled possession from both sides without penetration.

The one moment of anxiety came when Ward spilled a free kick midway through the period but he was bailed out by his team-mates.

Pawlett replaced McLean and came closest to winning a tense match when he let fly from 30 yards and his dipping shot grazed the keeper's fingers before smacking back off the crossbar.

Shkendija players applaud their small band of supporters at Pittodrie
Shkendija players applaud their small band of supporters at Pittodrie

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 19Ward
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 23mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11HayesSubstituted forGoodwillieat 79'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 22Jack
  • 8FloodSubstituted forRobsonat 79'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 7McLeanSubstituted forPawlettat 67'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 16Pawlett
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 18Quinn
  • 20Brown
  • 25Shankland

Shkendija

  • 12Jovanovski
  • 3AbdulaSubstituted forKirovskiat 80'minutes
  • 6CuculiBooked at 90mins
  • 5Alimi
  • 24HasaniBooked at 90mins
  • 8PolozhaniBooked at 45mins
  • 25Ibraimi
  • 15Todorovski
  • 11Demiri
  • 20JuffoSubstituted forBejtulaiat 71'minutes
  • 18da Fonseca Salazar JuniorSubstituted forVrucinaat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Azizi
  • 4Bejtulai
  • 7Imeri
  • 9Kirovski
  • 10Vrucina
  • 22Idrissou
  • 27Totre
Attendance:
14,112

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamShkendija
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home14
Away7

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Mgladbach63301441012
2Villarreal6321157811
3FC Zürich62131014-47
4Apollon Limassol6105418-143

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Club Brugge6330102812
2Torino632193611
3HJK Helsinki6204511-66
4FC Copenhagen6114513-84

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Besiktas6330115612
2Tottenham632194511
3Asteras Tripolis6132710-36
4Partizan Belgrade602419-82

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg65102181316
2Celtic62221011-18
3Dinamo Zagreb62041215-36
4Astra Giurgiu6114615-94

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Moscow660093618
2PSV Eindhoven62228808
3Estoril Praia612378-15
4Panathinaikos6024611-52

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Inter Milan633062412
2Dnipropetrovsk621345-17
3FK Qarabag613235-26
4Saint-Étienne605123-15

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Feyenoord6402106412
2Sevilla632185311
3HNK Rijeka621378-17
4Standard Liege6114410-64

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Everton6321103711
2Wolfsburg63121410410
3FK Krasnodar6132712-56
4Lille604239-64

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli6411113813
2BSC Young Boys6402137612
3Sparta Prague6312116510
4Slovan Bratislava6006120-190

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kiev6501124815
2Aalborg BK6303510-59
3Steaua Bucharest621311927
4Rio Ave6114510-54

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina6411114713
2Guingamp631276110
3PAOK Salonika621310737
4Dinamo Minsk6114314-114

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Legia Warsaw650172515
2Trabzonspor631286210
3KSC Lokeren631244010
4Metalist Kharkiv6006310-70
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