Europa League - Qualifying Second Round - 2nd Leg
Aberdeen5Chikhura Sachkhere0

Aberdeen 5-0 Chikhura Sachkhere (6-1): Sam Cosgrove scored Europa League treble

Sam Cosgrove scores for Aberdeen
Sam Cosgrove stooped to head home his second goal in a thumping victory for Aberdeen

Sam Cosgrove scored a hat-trick as rampant Aberdeen earned a Europa League third qualifying round date with Rijeka by easing past Chikhura of Georgia.

With the tie poised at 1-1, Cosgrove finished two fine early moves to calm any home nerves, netting a deflected shot then a close-range diving header.

Debutant Greg Leigh and Scott Wright stretched the lead after the interval.

And Cosgrove completed his treble - and the home rout - with a wonderfully cute finish in the 80th minute.

The margin of victory is Aberdeen's biggest in Europe since thrashing Daugava Riga of Latvia by the same scoreline in 2014.

Derek McInnes' men faced Rijeka at the second-round stage four years ago, winning 5-2 on aggregate. The first leg takes place in Croatia next Thursday, with the return fixture a week later.

Aberdeen strike note of encouragement

The Georgians had taken a punishing and arduous route to Scotland's north east - a flight from their homeland to Doha, another plane to Edinburgh, then a bus to their final destination.

Any team would struggle to deliver their best stuff after so draining a journey. And even had they brought their A-game, Chikhura would have been up against it, what with the overwhelming tempo and accuracy of their hosts.

Aberdeen attacked with vigour and precision, their midfield swarming Chikhura in possession and exploding through them with a blend of dynamic galloping runs and polished distribution.

The triumvirate spearheading that effort - Niall McGinn, Ryan Hedges and Jon Gallagher - fizzed forward with menace, driving into unguarded pockets of space where they were found with clever passes from Lewis Ferguson and Funso Ojo, sitting behind them. It was a devastating blend and an appetising snapshot for the sizeable home crowd.

All three played a part in Cosgrove's brilliant ninth-minute opener, Hedges surging towards the box and finding McGinn, McGinn sliding in Gallagher, and Gallagher knocking it to the big striker left of centre, 12 yards out. Cosgrove chopped back on to his right foot, and whacked a deflected shot beyond Hamzic.

Eleven minutes later, it was 2-0. Another lovely move clinically dispatched by Cosgrove. This time, Shay Logan lofted a ball down the right for the haring Ferguson, who delicately crossed it first-time. Thundering in to stoop and nod past Hamzic was Cosgrove.

The Englishman was hardly prolific when he rocked up here last January - a single English League Two goal his only in senior football - but how he has flourished under McInnes. On Thursday, he took his Aberdeen tally to 27 goals in 48 outings, 25 of them coming in his last 32, and became the first player since 70-year-old club great Drew Jarvie to score in four consecutive European ties.

Sam Cosgrove

The onslaught continued unabated after the break. Ferguson used Cosgrove's dummy run to mask an exquisite cross for the rising Leigh. Then replacement Wright caressed one into the net after the excellent Gallagher stole back possession with a perfect sliding challenge and set his team-mate scampering through on Hamzic.

The coup de grace, however, belonged to Cosgrove. The towering forward slalomed his way into the box, and clipped home a delicious shot with the outside of his right foot. That took his season's haul to six goals in four games already. In this kind of form, and with this sort of service, Cosgrove is a serious weapon.

McInnes still has the likes of Craig Bryson, Connor McLennan, Mikey Devlin, Curtis Main, James Wilson and Ash Taylor waiting in the wings or working their way back from injuries. This was a hugely encouraging night for the Aberdeen manager - entertaining, effervescent and utterly emphatic - as his team took another step towards their ultimate goal of the group stage.

'Sparkling' display from newcomers - analysis

Former Aberdeen captain and manager Willie Miller on BBC Radio Scotland.

McInnes had to find new faces, new quality in the close season and he's certainly done that. We have to remember it's really early in the season. It's only been two home games to look at but they've both been sparkling and really positive. The newcomers all look to be of high quality.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 4Considine
  • 5McKenna
  • 3LeighSubstituted forCampbellat 67'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 22Ojo
  • 11Hedges
  • 21Gallagher
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forWrightat 62'minutes
  • 16CosgroveSubstituted forAndersonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Bryson
  • 8Wilson
  • 15Wright
  • 17May
  • 20Cerny
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson

Chikhura Sachkhere

  • 30Hamzic
  • 15Koripadze
  • 8MaisashviliBooked at 26mins
  • 6MamasakhlisiBooked at 48mins
  • 24Chikvaidze
  • 2ChitishviliSubstituted forMarkozashviliat 52'minutes
  • 37Kashia
  • 17DekanoidzeSubstituted forPantsulaiaat 52'minutes
  • 21Sardalishvili
  • 10Lekvtadze
  • 12ErgemlidzeSubstituted forChikhladzeat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Kamladze
  • 7Markozashvili
  • 13Mtskerashvili
  • 14Pantsulaia
  • 23Chikhladze
  • 25Megrelishvili
  • 26Ardazishvili
Referee:
Rade Obrenovic
Attendance:
15,167

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamChikhura Sachkhere
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home15
Away6
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 1st August 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen6411169713
2Zürich631276110
3AEK Larnaca6123612-65
4Ludogorets604257-24

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg66001761118
2Celtic630368-29
3RB Leipzig62139817
4Rosenborg6015414-101

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg632165111
2Slavia Prague631243110
3Bordeaux62136607
4FC Copenhagen612335-25

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Zagreb6420113814
2Fenerbahçe62227708
3Spartak Trnava621347-37
4Anderlecht603327-53

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal65101221016
2Sporting64111331013
3Vorskla Poltava6105413-93
4FK Qarabag6105213-113

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Betis633072512
2Olympiakos6312116510
3AC Milan6312129310
4F91 Dudelange6015316-131

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal6240125710
2Rapid Vienna631269-310
3Rangers61328806
4Spartak Moscow6123812-45

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Frankfurt66001751218
2Lazio6303911-29
3Apollon Limassol6213101007
4Marseille6015616-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk6321148611
2Malmö FF62317619
3Besiktas6213911-27
4Sarpsborg 086123813-55

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla64021861212
2FK Krasnodar640288012
3Standard Liege631279-210
4Akhisarspor6015414-101

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kiev6321107311
2Rennes630378-19
3FC Astana62227708
4FK Jablonec612368-25

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea6510123916
2BATE Borisov63039909
3MOL Vidi621357-27
4PAOK Salonika6105512-73
View full Europa League tables

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