Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 1st Leg
Gap Connah's Quay1HJK Helsinki0

Connah's Quay Nomads 1-0 HJK Helsinki

Nathan Woolfe joined Nomads in January 2016 having started his career at Bolton Wanderers
Nathan Woolfe joined Nomads in January 2016 having started his career at Bolton Wanderers

Nathan Woolfe was Connah's Quay Nomads' hero as they upset the odds in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round against HJK Helsinki.

Helsinki lead Finland's Veikkausliga with one loss in 16 games and scored 18 goals in their last five wins.

But after Woolfe's cross-shot put Nomads ahead just before half-time, Helsinki could find no way through against a fine defensive effort.

The Welsh side take their slender lead into the return leg on Thursday 6 July.

The winners will face Moldovan side Dacia Chisinau or Shkëndija of Macedonia in the second qualifying round.

'A staggering performance'

Connah's Quay Nomads manager Andy Morrison told BBC Wales Sport:

"It's a staggering performance and result, I am immensely proud of the lads.

"It's a fantastic night for Connah's Quay and Welsh football.

"I said before the game we had to respect this team. They have won six out of six and scored 20 goals and only conceded one goal, so they were flying in their league.

"A lot of their players were being watched by European clubs. That team have aspirations of getting to the Europa League [group stage].

"But we don't fear anyone and that's the identity of this club.

"When they walked off the pitch our lads had earned their respect... they were doing cartwheels in Uefa headquarters when they drew us, because we were probably the lowest ranked team in there."

'We will go there with no fear'

"They have had a wake-up call and it's going to be a hell of a game at their place.

"It's going to be a massive ask but our lads have shown enough tonight and there is enough fight to go over there with no fear.

"It's half-time. The preparation will be better this week looking at the game but we have also lost the element of surprise with the opposition.

"It adds pressure on them though because they know if they lose that game it's an horrendous result for them with the history they have had in European football.

"They have dominated Finnish football for two or three decades and are in Champions League or Europa League every year, so they are under pressure.

"We will create problems and score a goal. We need to because you can't keep a team like that out for 180 minutes.

"We showed last year we can get a goal away from home because we are very good in the final third with our set plays."

Line-ups

Gap Connah's Quay

  • 1Danby
  • 3EdwardsBooked at 54mins
  • 8Morris
  • 6Harrison
  • 2Pearson
  • 11Woolfe
  • 16OwenBooked at 47mins
  • 5HoranBooked at 84mins
  • 9WildeBooked at 34mins
  • 12PooleSubstituted forWignallat 77'minutes
  • 15Smith

Substitutes

  • 7Wignall
  • 10Williams
  • 14Owen
  • 18Heath
  • 19Phillips
  • 28Rushton
  • 66Harwood

HJK Helsinki

  • 29Uusitalo
  • 9Savage
  • 15Jalasto
  • 4Patronen
  • 7Yaghoubi
  • 20Onovo
  • 77MensahSubstituted forJallowat 61'minutes
  • 22AnnanBooked at 47minsSubstituted forLappalainenat 83'minutes
  • 8Scapini de Almeida
  • 31Pelvas
  • 32Obilor

Substitutes

  • 14Dahlstrom
  • 16Halme
  • 17Jallow
  • 19Lingman
  • 21Dähne
  • 33Ölander
  • 34Lappalainen
Referee:
George Gaman
Attendance:
472

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
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