Europa League - Qualifying Second Round - 2nd Leg

Ventspils 0-1 Aberdeen (agg 0-4)

Adam Rooney scored the only goal of the game

Aberdeen eased past Ventspils and into the Europa League third qualifying round for the third year in a row.

After a 3-0 first-leg victory, they had to work for the win in Latvia and goalkeeper Joe Lewis saved a first-half penalty from Antons Jemelins.

He made further saves from Alans Sinelnikovs and Alexei Alekseev.

But the Dons wrapped up the tie when Jonny Hayes cut back for Adam Rooney to drive into the net and set up a tie with either Maribor or Levski Sofia.

It was Rooney's second of the tie and his ninth in European competition, seven of them scored against Latvian opposition after scoring five over two legs against Daugava Riga two years ago.

The striker now overtakes Gordon Strachan and Joe Harper in terms of goals scored by Aberdeen players in continental competition with only Mark McGhee, John Hewitt and Drew Jarvie ahead of him now.

The goal was reward for a much improved second-half performance from the team in general after a rather flat first half, although that still saw Rooney have a goal chalked off.

Read more: Hibs knocked out of Europe on penalties by Brondby

Read more: Maltese side Birkirkara stun Hearts at Tynecastle

It was a professional, if unspectacular display early on with Aberdeen's only real moments of anxiety in the first half coming in the occasional mix-ups involving Ash Taylor and Mark Reynolds, but the Latvians weren't given many chances to fully exploit them.

It was pretty scrappy at times but Dons goalkeeper Lewis did not have a serious save to make in the first half until Ventspils were awarded a controversial penalty just four minutes from the break.

Taylor challenged Alekseev in the box and although the striker went down theatrically the Serbian referee Danilo Grujic pointed to the penalty spot leaving the Dons players and manager incensed.

Thankfully Lewis dived to his right to pull off a fine double save to push away Jemelins' spot-kick.

Just before that Ryan Jack's long range drive was touched onto the bar by Maksims Uvarenko and while Rooney pounced to net the rebound the assistant's flag was already raised.

Joe Lewis saves a penalty
Goalkeeper Joe Lewis saved a first-half penalty

That apart, Hayes glanced a header wide, Niall McGinn angled a drive off target while at the other end Ritvars Rugins shot wide and Girts Karlsons headed over the bar as occasional chances came and went.

Aberdeen certainly started the second half with increased pace and intensity, best shown when Hayes and Rooney combined in a sweeping move but Kenny McLean had to stretch too far to convert at the back post.

They played a lot more intelligently on the deck, pressing Ventpils back more effectively with the pressure bringing a free-kick that led to Uvarenko brilliantly pushing away McGinn's swerving 20-yard effort.

The standard of goalkeeping remained just as high at the other end though as Lewis made another crucial block to prevent Simonus Paulius giving Ventspils any hope of a win on the night.

That disappeared completely when Rooney anticipated the surging run and cross from Hayes and was in the right place to take full advantage from about 12 yards out.

Aberdeen could have had another couple as Ventspils wilted towards the end, with substitute Wes Burns causing problems and Graeme Shinnie was denied when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.



  • 1Uvarenko
  • 4Obuobi
  • 8SinelnikovsSubstituted forTidenbergsat 65'minutes
  • 15AlekseevSubstituted forSvarupsat 81'minutes
  • 19KolesovsBooked at 59mins
  • 20Karlsons
  • 26Jemelins
  • 21RecickisSubstituted forAlfaat 86'minutes
  • 9Paulius
  • 25Rugins
  • 22Boranijasevic


  • 3Zulevs
  • 5Adigun
  • 7Zigajevs
  • 11Alfa
  • 14Tidenbergs
  • 16Pavlovs
  • 23Svarups


  • 1LewisBooked at 76mins
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 73mins
  • 7McLeanBooked at 42mins
  • 22JackBooked at 18mins
  • 4Considine
  • 9RooneySubstituted forBurnsat 80'minutes
  • 11HayesSubstituted forStoreyat 82'minutes
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forStockleyat 71'minutes


  • 8Burns
  • 15O'Connor
  • 17Stockley
  • 24McKenna
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
  • 39Storey
Danilo Grujic

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 21st July 2016

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