Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 2nd Leg
St Johnstone2Alashkert FC1
Alashkert FC win on away goals

St Johnstone 2-1 Alashkert FC (2-2)

Michael O'Halloran hammered St Johnstone in front after 34 minutes
Michael O'Halloran hammered St Johnstone in front after 34 minutes

St Johnstone crashed at the first Europa League qualifying hurdle, going out on away goals to 10-man Alashkert.

Michael O'Halloran shot the Saints into a half-time lead, levelling the tie on aggregate.

The Armenian visitors lost Karen Muradyan after a second booking but stunned the crowd in Perth when Narek Gyozalyan lobbed in an equaliser.

Brad McKay set up a frantic finale with a deft late strike but Tommy Wright's side could not find another goal.

St Johnstone had started as favourites to progress against a side making their European bow, despite the one-goal deficit from the first leg.

But, with players like Murray Davidson, David Wotherspoon and Simon Lappin watching on from the stands, manager Wright was forced to name an untested and certainly makeshift formation that struggled to exert any real dominance or create much in the way of clear cut chances.

Indeed it took over 15 minutes to register a shot on target, Scott Brown with an effort from distance that was easily held by Gevorg Kasparov.

O'Halloran tried to take matters into his own hands, sprinting down the right, and his cross picked out the onrushing Chris Kane but the young forward's header was well off the mark.

With the game scrappy and littered with fouls, it was hardly a surprise that the opening goal arrived in untidy fashion.

Alashkert failed to deal with a free kick into the box which eventually fell at the feet of Frazer Wright. His point blank shot was parried but O'Halloran pounced, smashing into the open net.

For the 5,764 supporters inside McDiarmid Park it seemed the script was being read in the way they had expected.

From that point on, though, Alashkert rallied and had the better of the remainder of the first half.

Alashkert celebrate victory in their first ever European tie
Alashkert celebrate victory in their first ever European tie

Muradyan's sending off for a second reckless challenge did not faze the visitors, who went on to score with their first clear-cut opportunity.

Following a reshuffle in the back line, the Saints defence hesitated as Gyozalyan sprinted away from Tam Scobbie and onto a long ball over the top, showing great composure with the finish.

Wright threw on the cavalry and substitute Liam Caddis tested the goalkeeper from distance with a stinging effort that Kasparov could only parry. It bounced towards Graham Cummins but the striker could not get enough power on his header and Kasparov blocked again.

And it was another substitute, McKay, who made things interesting as he prodded into the bottom corner in a crowded penalty box for his first for the club since his summer move from Hearts.

Moments left but another goal was needed.

Kane scored the goal that secured European football for St Johnstone on the final day at Pittodrie but he was just the wrong side of the post as his drive flew inches wide with the keeper certainly beaten.

For St Johnstone this is as far as their fourth successive European adventure will go.

Alashkert will now face Kazakhstan side Kairat Almaty in the second qualifying round, while Wright must go back to the drawing board and to a pre-season that will hopefully see a number of first team players back to full fitness before their opening fixture against Hearts in just over three weeks' time.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 5WrightBooked at 37minsSubstituted forMcKayat 65'minutes
  • 6AndersonBooked at 70minsSubstituted forCaddisat 72'minutes
  • 3ScobbieBooked at 13mins
  • 20Brown
  • 24Easton
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 25Kane
  • 11SuttonSubstituted forCumminsat 80'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 12Clark
  • 15McKay
  • 16Caddis
  • 18Cummins
  • 27Thomson
  • 28Gilchrist
  • 32McLaren

Alashkert FC

  • 1Kasparov
  • 2Fofana
  • 6Arakelyan
  • 13Poghosyan
  • 17UsenyaBooked at 70mins
  • 19MinasyanBooked at 29mins
  • 5MuradyanBooked at 65mins
  • 10VeranyanSubstituted forVoskanyanat 90+3'minutes
  • 14BareghamyanSubstituted forAraujo dos Santosat 90+5'minutes
  • 21GrigoryanBooked at 18mins
  • 22GyozalyanSubstituted forManasyanat 75'minutesBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 3Araujo dos Santos
  • 4Voskanyan
  • 7Manasyan
  • 8Ghazaryan
  • 9Karapetyan
  • 11Balabekyan
  • 55Khachatryan
Attendance:
5,764

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAlashkert FC
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home22
Away14

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
View full Europa League tables

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