Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 2nd Leg
Fola Esch1Aberdeen0

Fola Esch 1-0 Aberdeen

Aberdeen fell behind to Samir Hadji's (centre) goal just before half-time
Aberdeen fell behind to Samir Hadji's (centre) goal just before half-time

Aberdeen limped into the second qualifying round of the Europa league with a 3-2 aggregate win, despite going down to Fola Esch in Luxembourg.

In a dismal Dons performance, Samir Hadji gave the hosts a deserved lead when he raced onto a loose ball and lashed it home just before half-time.

As Aberdeen continued to create little after the break, Emmanuel Francoise thumped the ball off the post.

But despite dominating, the hosts could not find the second goal they needed.

The Dons live to fight another day and will face Latvian side Ventspils in the second qualifying round, with the first leg at Pittodrie next Thursday.

But they were well short of their best, with Fola Esch claiming their first-ever win in a European tie.

It was Fola who were the more dangerous of the two sides in the opening minutes as they attempted to pull back the two-goal deficit from the first leg.

An audacious effort from the halfway line almost caught out Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis, before Hadji raced to the near post and tested the Englishman from close-range.

The hosts pressed again when Mehdi Kirch sent a left-foot shot wide from distance, before Shay Logan had a similar strike at the other end with Aberdeen's first effort of the game.

Peter Pawlett, making a rare start for the Dons in place of the rested Niall McGinn, cut a neat ball across from the byline for Jayden Stockley and goalkeeper Thomas Hym had to be alert to deny him from close-range.

The best chances were continuing to fall to the hosts, though. Hadji was not too far away with a back-post header from a corner, before Stefano Bensi volleyed over.

Samir Hadji (right)
Samir Hadji (right) gets past Ash Taylor to rifle the ball beyond goalkeeper Joe Lewis

A goal was coming and it was no surprise when Hadji found the net on the stroke of half-time.

Bensi stabbed the ball through the heart of the defence, and with Ash Taylor caught between the player and the ball, Hadji raced past him and fired beyond goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Manager Derek McInnes' frustration was apparent with a double substitution at the interval, with Pawlett and debutant Anthony O'Connor being replaced by Willo Flood and Mark Reynolds.

The Dons though continued to toil and goalkeeper Lewis twice denied the hosts in quick succession; first tipping Bensi's curling effort wide before getting to Tom Laterza's low shot from the resultant corner.

A second goal from the hosts would have been enough to send the Dons out of Europe, and that nearly became a reality when Logan stood off Francoise and allowed him to rattle the ball off the inside of the post.

Flood appeared to have injured himself in a clumsy challenge on Fola's Ryan Klapp, and with Aberdeen having used all three substitutes, he was a passenger for the final 20 minutes.

That allowed the home side to continue to go forward in numbers, and Gerson Rodrigues should have done better with a weak shot from the edge of the box.

Adam Rooney was booked for diving after going down in the box in a rare reprieve from late Fola pressure, with Hadji nearly poking a cross beyond Lewis in the last minute.


Fola Esch

  • 1Hym
  • 15Hadji
  • 11FrançoiseSubstituted forCamerlingat 78'minutes
  • 8MuharemovicSubstituted forRochaat 87'minutes
  • 6Bernard
  • 23Laterza
  • 28Klein
  • 10Dallevedove
  • 24Kirch
  • 27Bensi
  • 26KlappSubstituted forRodriguesat 71'minutes


  • 2Martino
  • 7Rodrigues
  • 14Sacras
  • 17Rocha
  • 18Camerling
  • 20Bechtold
  • 33Cabral


  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 3Shinnie
  • 5Taylor
  • 7McLean
  • 15O'ConnorSubstituted forReynoldsat 45'minutes
  • 4Considine
  • 11Hayes
  • 22Jack
  • 17StockleySubstituted forRooneyat 63'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 16PawlettSubstituted forFloodat 45'minutesBooked at 62mins


  • 6Reynolds
  • 8Flood
  • 9Rooney
  • 14Smith
  • 21Shankland
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
Ola Hobber Nilsen

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 7th July 2016

Top Stories