Europa League: St Johnstone 1-1 Eskisehirspor (agg 1-3)
St Johnstone are out of the Europa League despite a hard-fought draw against Turkish side Eskisehirspor at McDiarmid Park.
Saints had the better of the first half and debutant Gregory Tade became an instant hero to the Perth fans when his headed goal broke the deadlock.
However, the 6,023 crowd were left disappointed as Veysel Sari equalised to ensure the visitors went through to the third qualifying round.
On a day when Japan defeated World Champions Spain in Olympic football, Saints could not cause another upset, but the club extended their unbeaten home record in Europe to six games.
Manager Steve Lomas shuffled his pack ahead of the game, bringing in new signing Tade, who missed the first leg through injury, for Sean Higgins.
Fellow new forward Nigel Hasselbaink, a substitute in Turkey, also started, replacing midfielder Jamie Adams as Lomas started with a more positive line-up.
Captain Dave MacKay had to make do with a place on the bench after injury had kept him out of the trip to Turkey, with Gary Miller keeping his place at right back.
For the visitors, Burhan Esir came in for Batuhan Karadeniz, while Polish winger Patryk Malecki was replaced by Rodrigo Tello.
Plenty of atmosphere was provided by the large crowd, including 241 visiting fans who had overcome visa problems to make it to Perth.
One Saints fan lofted an ironic 'Welcome to Hell' banner, which seemed even more out of place on a balmy Perth evening bathed in sunshine.
The Eskisehirspor supporters had been welcomed at a fanzone in the city centre by home fans keen to show the same hospitality they had received in Turkey the previous week.
The match began at a frenetic pace, and it showed, with neither side able to keep much in the way of possession.
However, the Turks soon began to get control of the ball, and Diomansy Kamara's cross was headed towards goal by Sari, with Alan Mannus parrying well.
Saints finally carved out an opportunity when Hasselbaink robbed the Eskisehirspor defence and cut the ball back across the edge of the box only for Chris Millar to sclaff his shot well wide of target.
Hasselbaink then latched onto a hopeful punt to burst into the box, but his flick on the bounce again slipped wide.
It was the home side's best spell of the match and they took advantage when Callum Davidson's cross from the left evaded the stretching Ruud Boffin allowing Tade to head home from close range.
With Boffin looking uncomfortable with high balls, Saints continued an aerial assault on the Eskisehirspor goal before and after the break.
However, it was from a low Liam Craig delivery across the six-yard line that the home side next went close, Hasselbaink's close-range effort parried by Boffin.
And the visitors then killed off the tie with an almost identical move.
Kamara's low cross from the left evaded Mannus and Sari tapped in at the back post, leaving Saints needing three goals to qualify.
Craig could have pulled one back for the home side but shot straight at Boffin following some neat play by Tade and Hasselbaink.
With the on-field play fizzling out, both sets of fans took to singing each others' favourite songs with the Turkish fans clearly aware of St Johnstone's rivalry with Dundee.
Despite the late introduction of youthful striker Steven May, Saints' best chance at the end came from a Craig free-kick which Boffin tipped over the bar.
The late revival did not materialise and Eskisehirspor's exuberant fans now face a trip to Marseille in the third qualifying round.
For Saints, the focus turns to the domestic campaign, but the standing ovation from the fans at full-time suggests there is no shame in their European exit.
In fact, it seems only to have whetted the supporters' appetite for more of the same.
- 01 Mannus
- 03 Davidson
- 05 Wright
- 18 McCracken
- 19 Miller Booked (MacKay - 60' )
- 04 Cregg
- 07 Millar
- 08 Davidson Booked
- 10 Craig
- 09 Tade (Higgins - 67' )
- 11 Hasselbaink (May - 84' )
- 15 Tuffey
- 02 MacKay
- 06 Anderson
- 33 Scobbie
- 20 Adams
- 27 May
- 17 Higgins
- 25 Boffin
- 03 Diego
- 04 Dede
- 76 Cetin
- 06 Potuk Booked
- 10 Zengin (Malecki - 61' )
- 14 Tello
- 21 Eser (Nuhiu - 72' )
- 50 Gucer (Guven - 81' )
- 88 Sari Booked
- 15 Kamara Booked
- 33 Erdogan
- 02 Bahtiyaroglu
- 17 Demirhan
- 08 Guven
- 35 Kara
- 09 Nuhiu
- 19 Malecki
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +3:06
Centre by Leonardo Dede, Atdhe Nuhiu produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.90:00 +1:46
Shot from just outside the penalty area by Mehmet Guven misses to the left of the target.89:20
Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alper Potuk. Direct free kick taken by Alper Potuk.88:51
Rodrigo Tello fouled by Patrick Cregg, the ref awards a free kick. Rodrigo Tello takes the free kick.87:22
Diomansy Kamara takes a shot. Save made by Alan Mannus. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Rodrigo Tello from the right by-line, clearance made by Frazer Wright. Corner taken by Leonardo Dede from the left by-line, Effort from outside the penalty area by Patryk Malecki goes wide left of the goal.85:56
Free kick awarded for a foul by Atdhe Nuhiu on Frazer Wright. Direct free kick taken by Callum Davidson.84:48
Corner taken right-footed by Sean Higgins.84:10
Liam Craig fouled by Atdhe Nuhiu, the ref awards a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Liam Craig, save made by Ruud Boffin.83:18 Substitution
Substitution Steve May joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nigel Hasselbaink.82:34
Nigel Hasselbaink fouled by Servet Cetin, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig from right wing, blocked by Mehmet Guven.80:31 Substitution
Substitution (Eskisehirspor) makes a substitution, with Mehmet Guven coming on for Hurriyet Gucer.77:09
Short corner taken by Rodrigo Tello from the right by-line.76:32
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Leonardo Dede, Diego Angelo takes a shot. Alan Mannus makes a save.75:47
Diomansy Kamara fouled by Frazer Wright, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Leonardo Dede, David McCracken makes a clearance.74:30 Booking
Booking Diomansy Kamara shown a yellow card.72:59
Diego Angelo restarts play with the free kick.72:59 Booking
Booking Murray Davidson is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.72:55
Murray Davidson concedes a free kick for a foul on Diego Angelo.71:51
Inswinging corner taken by Rodrigo Tello.
Substitution Burhan Eser leaves the field to be replaced by Atdhe Nuhiu.70:50
The ball is swung over by Leonardo Dede.68:48
The ball is delivered by Leonardo Dede, David McCracken makes a clearance.66:34
Direct free kick taken by Leonardo Dede.66:34 Substitution
Substitution Gregory Tade leaves the field to be replaced by Sean Higgins.66:34
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patryk Malecki by David McCracken.65:39
Liam Craig fouled by Diomansy Kamara, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Mannus takes the direct free kick.64:51
The referee blows for offside. Ruud Boffin takes the free kick.63:01
Foul by Hurriyet Gucer on Murray Davidson, free kick awarded. Liam Craig produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig.61:16
Foul by Patrick Cregg on Rodrigo Tello, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ruud Boffin.59:43 Substitution
Substitution Patryk Malecki replaces Erkan Zengin.59:43 Substitution
Substitution David MacKay on for Gary Miller.58:20
Chris Millar takes a shot. Ruud Boffin makes a comfortable save.57:25
Liam Craig takes a shot. Ruud Boffin makes a save.56:35
Veysel Sari fouled by Callum Davidson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Veysel Sari.55:28
Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrick Cregg on Alper Potuk. Leonardo Dede takes the free kick.54:16
Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Veysel Sari gets a block in.53:55
Centre by Veysel Sari, clearance by Gary Miller.52:51
Free kick awarded for a foul by Rodrigo Tello on Murray Davidson. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Cregg.50:57
Assist by Diomansy Kamara.50:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Veysel Sari - St J'stone 1 - 1 Eskis'spor A goal is scored by Veysel Sari from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Johnstone 1 (1)-(3) 1 Eskisehirspor.50:54
Diomansy Kamara sends in a cross,50:16
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig from the left by-line, Ruud Boffin makes a comfortable save.47:58
The ball is crossed by Liam Craig, Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Save made by Ruud Boffin. Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the left by-line, Diego Angelo fouled by David McCracken, the ref awards a free kick. Ruud Boffin restarts play with the free kick.45:52
A cross is delivered by Liam Craig. The ball is sent over by Gary Miller. The offside flag is raised against Gregory Tade. Free kick taken by Ruud Boffin.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +1:50 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +1:01
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gregory Tade by Servet Cetin. Liam Craig takes the free kick.45:00 +0:34
Erkan Zengin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.43:14
Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig from right wing.43:14 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Alper Potuk for dissent.42:55
Free kick awarded for a foul by Diego Angelo on Gregory Tade.40:51
The ball is swung over by Leonardo Dede.39:54
Direct free kick taken by Leonardo Dede.39:54 Booking
Booking Gary Miller booked.39:40
Gary Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Burhan Eser.37:37
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alper Potuk by Murray Davidson. Free kick crossed left-footed by Rodrigo Tello, Alan Mannus makes a comfortable save.36:09
Hurriyet Gucer challenges Chris Millar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig, save by Ruud Boffin.34:42
Assist on the goal came from Callum Davidson.34:42 Goal scored
Goal! - Gregory Tade - St J'stone 1 - 0 Eskis'spor Gregory Tade grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty area. St Johnstone 1 (1)-(2) 0 Eskisehirspor.34:38
Centre by Callum Davidson,34:04
Centre by Liam Craig, Servet Cetin gets a block in.32:53
Gregory Tade challenges Hurriyet Gucer unfairly and gives away a free kick. Diego Angelo takes the direct free kick.31:56
Unfair challenge on Alper Potuk by Patrick Cregg results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rodrigo Tello.31:09
The official flags Diomansy Kamara offside. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.30:16
Callum Davidson challenges Burhan Eser unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alper Potuk takes the free kick.29:26
Veysel Sari fouled by Nigel Hasselbaink, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Servet Cetin.27:31
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Leonardo Dede, Foul by Servet Cetin on David McCracken, free kick awarded. Alan Mannus takes the free kick.25:46
Gregory Tade has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.24:55
Chris Millar produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.22:07
The official flags Diomansy Kamara offside. Indirect free kick taken by Alan Mannus.17:40
Unfair challenge on Nigel Hasselbaink by Veysel Sari results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig from left wing, Servet Cetin manages to make a clearance.16:58
The ball is swung over by Erkan Zengin, Callum Davidson makes a clearance.15:57
The ball is delivered by Patrick Cregg, Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hurriyet Gucer. Ruud Boffin takes the direct free kick.14:57
The offside flag is raised against Burhan Eser. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.14:14
The ball is delivered by Erkan Zengin, Veysel Sari takes a shot. Alan Mannus makes a save.12:01
Nigel Hasselbaink delivers the ball, clearance made by Servet Cetin.8:46
Free kick taken by Callum Davidson.8:46 Booking
Booking Veysel Sari goes into the book.8:42
Veysel Sari concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrick Cregg.7:59
Erkan Zengin crosses the ball.5:15
Centre by Veysel Sari. Callum Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Veysel Sari. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Rodrigo Tello from right wing, Patrick Cregg gets a block in.4:25
Free kick awarded for a foul by Murray Davidson on Hurriyet Gucer. Direct free kick taken by Hurriyet Gucer.4:04
Diomansy Kamara is caught offside. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.0:38
Gregory Tade concedes a free kick for a foul on Leonardo Dede. Ruud Boffin restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The game gets underway.
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