Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 1st Leg
Crusaders3FK Liepaja1

Europa League qualifier: Crusaders 3-1 FK Liepaja

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Jordan Owens scored the third of Crusaders' goals at Seaview

Crusaders will take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their Europa League first round qualifier against FK Liepaja.

Philip Lowry slammed home from close range after 27 minutes and then Michael Carvill fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area soon after.

Jordan Owens added the third but Arturs Karasausks rifled home a magnificent drive which went in off the crossbar.

Home goalkeeper Brian Jensen, making his debut, made a fine save to deny Marks Kurtiss late in the game.

Sean Ward also made his first competitive appearance for the Irish League side as part of the starting team, with Jamie Glackin making his bow as a second-half substitute.

Crusaders skipper Colin Coates was returning to action after missing the latter end of last season through injury.

Crusaders players congratulate Philip Lowry after he opened the scoring at Seaview
Crusaders players congratulate Philip Lowry after he opened the scoring at Seaview

The hosts bossed the early stages with Paul Heatley hooking over the bar before Lowry took advantage of Liepaja's failure to clear the danger.

Carvill doubled the lead and then provided the corner which was headed down by Coates into the path of Owens, who provided the finish.

Karasausks' spectacular strike on the hour breathed new life into the Latvian side as they take an away goal into next Thursday's second leg.

Kurtiss grazed the bar with a header and was denied by good goalkeeping from Jensen.

The winners of the tie will take on Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Bulgaria or Suduva of Lithuania in the second qualifying round.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "I was thrilled with our performance but disappointed slightly with the result given that we conceded the goal.

"Our play was sensational for an hour given that we have only been back for a week but their fitness and class showed in the last 30 minutes. We were out on our feet by the end.

"All the players worked incredibly hard but we face a mammoth task against a good side. They will be buoyed by that late goal for the second leg."

Line-ups

Crusaders

  • 21Jensen
  • 6Coates
  • 2Burns
  • 8Ward
  • 10CarvillSubstituted forBeverlandat 86'minutes
  • 34Brown
  • 7LowrySubstituted forGlackinat 73'minutes
  • 18Owens
  • 14Forsythe
  • 19SnoddyBooked at 90mins
  • 22HeatleySubstituted forWhyteat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Beverland
  • 11Cushley
  • 16Dougherty
  • 17McClean
  • 20Glackin
  • 23Whyte
  • 24Nimack

FK Liepaja

  • 80Dorosevs
  • 3Klava
  • 13JurkovskisBooked at 43mins
  • 11Karasausks
  • 5Strumia
  • 19AfanasjevsSubstituted forKurtissat 60'minutes
  • 7Hmizs
  • 86TomicSubstituted forKigursat 72'minutes
  • 20TorresBooked at 90mins
  • 26Ivanovs
  • 23GrebisBooked at 31mins

Substitutes

  • 9Kurtiss
  • 10Ikaunieks
  • 18Karklins
  • 22Krusatins
  • 32Sopots
  • 49Kigurs
Referee:
Anders Poulsen
Attendance:
1,375

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fenerbahçe641186213
2Man Utd6402124812
3Feyenoord621337-47
4Zorya Luhansk602428-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nic640286212
2Olympiakos62227618
3BSC Young Boys62227438
4FC Astana6123511-65

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Saint-Étienne633085312
2Anderlecht6321168811
3Mainz 056231810-29
4FK Qabala6006514-90

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St P6501178915
2AZ Alkmaar6222610-48
3Maccabi Tel-Aviv621379-27
4Dundalk611458-34

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma6330167912
2Astra Giurgiu6222710-38
3Viktoria Plzen6132710-36
4Austria Vienna61231114-35

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk6402139412
2Ath Bilbao63121011-110
3Rapid Vienna613278-16
4Sassuolo6123911-25

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax6420116514
2Celta Vigo623110739
3Standard Liege61418627
4Panathinaikos6015313-101

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakt Donsk66002151618
2KAA Gent6222913-48
3Sporting Braga6132911-26
4Konyaspor6015212-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke650193615
2FK Krasnodar62138807
3FC RB Salzb62136607
4Nice6204511-66

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina6411156913
2PAOK Salonika631276110
3FK Qarabag6213712-57
4Slovan Liberec6114712-54

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague640286212
2Hapoel Be'er Sheva62226608
3Southampton62226428
4Inter Milan6204711-46

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor6312107310
2Villarreal62319819
3FC Zürich613257-26
4Steaua Buc613257-26
View full Europa League tables

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