Europa League - Qualifying Second Round - 2nd Leg
CrusadersCrusaders1Olimpija LjubljanaOlimpija Ljubljana1

Europa League: Crusaders knocked out after battling draw against Olimpija Ljubljana

Cusaders were knocked out of the Europa League after a battling 1-1 draw against Olimpija Ljubljana.

Paul Heatley's clinical finish earned Crues a deserved share of the spoils at Seaview after Nik Kapun's low strike had put Olimpija ahead.

The Slovenian side progress to the third qualifying round 6-2 on aggregate win thanks to their first-leg win.

Stephen Baxter's side will begin the defence of their Irish League title on Monday when they play host to Ards.

Olimpija Ljubljana will play Finnish side HJK Helsinki in the next round of qualifiers.

Stephen Baxter and Rory Patterson
Crusaders unveiled new signing Rory Patterson before kick off at Seaview

Crusaders unveiled new signing Rory Patterson in front of their fans before kick-off but with regular striker Jordan Owens absent through injury, it fell on Heatley to lead the line for the hosts.

Needing a fast start if they were to have any chance of overturning their 5-1 first-leg defeat, the Premiership champions fashioned the first chance of the evening when Heatley pounced on a loose ball but his shot flashed wide of the post.

Declan Caddell also saw an early glancing header go straight at Olimpija goalkeeper Nejc Vidmar as they battled to revive the contest.

But it was the visitors that took the lead in the 15th minute when Aris Zarifovic made a driving run from midfield before finding Kapun on the edge of the area and his powerful shot flew past Sean O'Neill in the home goal.

Kyle Owens nearly equalised within minutes but he was unable to keep his header on target and Heatley had another chance saved by Vidmar.

O'Neill was also called into action at the other end, denying Branko Ilic with his legs before standing up to a shot from Haris Kadric.

Crues drew level just four minutes before half time when a quickly taken free kick caught the Olimpija defence unawares and Matthew Snoddy's knock down fell into the path of Heatley, who applied the finish.

Crusaders Jordan Forsythe evades the challenge of Olimpija's Nik Kapun
Crusaders Jordan Forsythe evades the challenge of Olimpija's Nik Kapun

The half-time introduction of Kingsley Boateng gave Olimpija an added cutting edge in attack at the start of the second half with the winger's pace creating problems for the home defence.

Neither team was able to create a clear scoring chance until after the hour mark when Caddell made a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny Rok Kronaveter.

Heatley had a penalty appeal turned down before Jordan Forsythe's long-range effort forced a diving save from Vidmar but at the other end Rodney Brown had to hack off his own line.

The increasingly influential Kronaveter wasted two late chances to earn a win for his side but Olimpija were content to hold out for a draw that secures their place in the next round.

Line-ups

Crusaders

  • 1O'Neill
  • 6Coates
  • 2Burns
  • 12CaddellBooked at 44mins
  • 10CarvillSubstituted forLowryat 90+5'minutes
  • 8WardBooked at 46mins
  • 14Forsythe
  • 16OwensSubstituted forCushleyat 61'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 22HeatleySubstituted forClarkeat 73'minutes
  • 20Brown
  • 19Snoddy

Substitutes

  • 3McChrystal
  • 7Lowry
  • 11Cushley
  • 15Holden
  • 17Ruddy
  • 25Clarke
  • 26Doherty

Olimpija Ljubljana

  • 41Vidmar
  • 27Zarifovic
  • 2Maksimenko
  • 23KapunBooked at 83mins
  • 7Kronaveter
  • 30Ilic
  • 90Tomic
  • 22KadricBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBoatengat 46'minutes
  • 29CrnicSubstituted forTurkusat 90+3'minutes
  • 77SavicSubstituted forSuljicat 76'minutes
  • 44StiglecBooked at 44mins

Substitutes

  • 9Vombergar
  • 15Suljic
  • 18Jakupovic
  • 21Boateng
  • 31Ivacic
  • 45Turkus
  • 62Kregar
Referee:
Oliver Drachta
Attendance:
1,080

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 2nd August 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal6321106411
2FC Astana6312107310
3Slavia Prague62226608
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv611418-74

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kyiv6411159613
2Partizan Belgrade622289-18
3Young Boys613278-16
4Skenderbeu6123610-45

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga631298110
2Ludogorets62317529
3Istanbul Basaksehir622278-18
4Hoffenheim6123810-25

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1AC Milan6321136711
2AEK Athens61506518
3HNK Rijeka62131112-17
4Austria Vienna6123916-75

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atalanta64201441014
2Lyon6321114711
3Everton6114715-84
4Apollon Limassol6033514-93

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lokomotiv Moscow632194511
2FC Copenhagen62317349
3Sheriff Tiraspol62314409
4Zlín6024110-92

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Viktoria Plzen6402138512
2FCSB631297210
3Lugano6303911-29
4Hapoel Be'er Sheva6114510-54

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal64111441013
2Red Star Belgrade62313219
3Köln620478-16
4BATE Borisov6123616-105

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg633071612
2Marseille62224408
3Konyaspor613246-26
4Vitória Guimarães612359-45

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ath Bilbao632185311
2Östersunds FK632184411
3Zorya Luhansk620439-66
4Hertha Berlin612367-15

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lazio6411127513
2Nice630312759
3SV Zulte Waregem6213813-57
4Vitesse6123510-55

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg65101751216
2Real Sociedad64021661012
3Rosenborg6123611-55
4Vardar6015320-171
View full Europa League tables

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