Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 2nd Leg
FK Trakai1St Johnstone0

Europa League: Trakai 1-0 St Johnstone (agg 3-1)

Maksim Maksimov (centre) celebrates against St Johnstone
Maksim Maksimov (centre) scored in both legs against Saints

St Johnstone joined Rangers in exiting the first qualifying round of the Europa League, beaten by 10-man Trakai in Lithuania.

Saints were the better side at the LFF Stadium in Vilnius, but Maksim Maksimov's late strike added to his side's 2-1 first-leg win in Perth.

Joe Shaughnessy had two first-half headers well saved by goalkeeper Ignas Plukas and missed badly in the second.

And Saints could not take advantage when Arunas Klimavicius was sent off.

It is Trakai, who lie second in the Lithuanian top flight after 16 games, 10 points behind reigning champions Zalgiris, who will face Norrkoping of Sweden in the next round.

Saints manager Tommy Wright had lamented his side's technical inferiority in the first leg, but that was never evident in the second leg against a side bolstered with greater match sharpness thanks to being halfway through their domestic season.

Alyaksander Bychanok was presented with a chance to virtually kill the tie in the opening minutes after Chris Millar was short with a header.

But the midfielder's chip over goalkeeper Zander Clark spun wide and that was virtually the only threat from the home side during the opening 45 minutes.

Olegas Vasilenko had admitted his surprise at leaving Perth with his first-ever victory as a coach in European competition, but his promise not to simply protect the one-goal lead - and to attack the Scots - never materialised.

Wright had made five changes to his starting line-up and, despite dropping Steven MacLean to the bench because of the continuing medical advice not to play the top scorer on artificial surfaces, his revamped side were looking the more dangerous side.

Shaughnessy had scored Saints equaliser in Perth and the big central defender came close twice.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright's five changes improved his side's performance

His header from Liam Craig's floated free-kick was touched over the crossbar by Plukas and the goalkeeper was again on hand to deny the Irishman from the corner.

Team-mate Chris Kane should have done better than lob weakly at Plukas after latching on to a long ball over the home defence and then had an appeal for a penalty waved away by Bulgarian referee Stanislav Todorov after claiming an elbow had been used.

St Johnstone were dominating possession as Trakai were content to play on the break and home central defender Klimavicius was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after hauling down Callum Davidson as the midfielder marauded towards goal, but Blair Alston curled the resulting free-kick wastefully wide.

Trakai, with veteran former Hearts midfielder Deividas Cesnauskis starting in place of Vaidotas Silenas, who was sent off after scoring the winner in Perth, would have been satisfied to have reached half-time level on the night.

However, it was the home side who started the more positive after the break until captain Klimavicius was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a challenge on Kane.

Saints now had more than half an hour to score the two goals needed to progress but should have taken advantage immediately.

Shaughnessy, though, headed wide of the far post when found unmarked by Alston 15 yards from goal.

Wright threw caution to the wind by sacrificing defensive midfielder Millar and throwing on MacLean for his first appearance on an artificial pitch for two years.

Trakai scrambled clear everything thrown into their penalty box by visitors with more huff and puff than gunpowder and Maksimov threatened twice at the other end on the break before killing off the tie.

The 21-year-old Russian striker, who had opened the scoring in Perth, latched on to a fine ball through the centre of the Saints defence before a composed side-foot finish past goalkeeper Clark to secure his side's second-ever victory in European competition.

Line-ups

FK Trakai

  • 13Plukas
  • 4Vorobjovas
  • 15JanusevskisBooked at 28mins
  • 11DorleyBooked at 82mins
  • 7CesnauskisSubstituted forKrukat 60'minutes
  • 22Wakili
  • 9MaksimovSubstituted forTraoreat 90+4'minutes
  • 23Shyshka
  • 77BychenokBooked at 37mins
  • 24KlimaviciusBooked at 57mins
  • 33BorovskisSubstituted forCyzasat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Sheremeta
  • 26Traore
  • 30Masenzovas
  • 47Kruk
  • 49Cyzas
  • 50Marazas
  • 79Mamaev

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 7MillarSubstituted forMacLeanat 63'minutes
  • 4AlstonBooked at 72minsSubstituted forCumminsat 76'minutes
  • 3TanserBooked at 32mins
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 28mins
  • 28Gilchrist
  • 21ScougallSubstituted forWotherspoonat 74'minutes
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 19Foster
  • 26Craig
  • 25Kane

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 9MacLean
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 15Kerr
  • 18Paton
  • 27Thomson
  • 29Cummins
Referee:
Stanislav Todorov
Attendance:
2,000

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