Europa League first qualifying round: Reds crash out with defeat in Norway
Cliftonville's Europa League hopes have been put to bed for another year after the Reds fell to a 6-1 aggregate defeat to FK Haugesund.
The Norwegian hosts won 5-1 on the night to send the Solitude outfit back to Belfast empty handed.
Kristoffer Velde fired home from distance to give Haugesund the lead after five minutes.
Conor McMenamin drew Cliftonville level on the night only for the home side to score four more in a comfortable win.
Paddy McLaughlin's side faced an uphill battle after last week's 1-0 defeat at Solitude and their night got off to the worst possible start when Velde drove his right-footed effort into the top corner from 25 yards.
But the visitors' hopes were briefly restored when Joe Gormley broke down the right wing and found the onrushing McMenamin in the box, who made no mistake from six yards.
That drew the Irish Premiership side level on the night but Haugesund showed their cutting edge in attack when Martin Samuelsen beat Richard Brush with a looping header just moments after Anthony Ikedi had struck the Cliftonville crossbar with his effort.
Cliftonville looked threatening on the break at times during the opening 45 minutes and perhaps should have pulled a goal back when Gormley shaped to shoot inside the box.
However, the striker could only curl his effort wide and his frustration was compounded when the home side pulled further clear after the referee judged Ibrahima Kone's shot to have crossed the line.
Bruno Leite added a fourth seven minutes after the restart before Velde cut inside from the left and curled another unstoppable effort beyond Brush to wrap up a comprehensive win for the Scandinavians.
- 5Tiedemann Hansen
- 11SamuelsenSubstituted forNdayisengaat 72'minutes
- 16Santos Leite
- 20KoneSubstituted forKrygårdat 61'minutes
- 4Pallesen Knudsen
- 11DonnellyBooked at 80mins
- 2McDermottBooked at 45mins
- 3IvesBooked at 10mins
- 16BagnallBooked at 25minsSubstituted forCurranat 61'minutes
- 17DohertySubstituted forWilsonat 80'minutesBooked at 85mins
- 19GormleySubstituted forMaguireat 70'minutes
- Mario Zebec