Europa League first qualifying round: Crusaders secure home win over Tórshavn
Crusaders beat Faroese outfit B36 Tórshavn 2-0 with a dominant display in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round at Seaview.
Goals in each half from debutant defender Chris Hegarty and midfielder Philip Lowry put the Crues in command ahead of next week's return leg.
Jordan Owens had an early penalty saved and Arni Frederiksberg hit the crossbar with the visitors' only effort of note.
The winners wills play English Premier League side Wolves in the next round.
The Crues earned their European place by beating Ballinamallard United 3-0 in the Irish Cup Final in May.
Stephen Baxter's men made a strong start to the match, pressing their visitors with a high tempo on what was their first competitive fixture of the season.
They gained control in the opening stages and were rarely threatened throughout, with Tórshavn struggling to deal with the aerial threat from Owens.
Crusaders were not as dangerous in the second-half as they were before the break, but are in a strong position to go through thanks to their two-goal lead.
Former Rangers centre-half Hegarty, who signed for the Crues from Dungannon Swifts in May, gave the north Belfast men a well-deserved half-time lead with a header in the 33rd minute.
Billy-Joe Burns delivered a superb deep cross from the right and Hegarty rose unmarked to power home a header past Jorgensen.
Lowry's goal came in the 79th minute from a long ball forward from Burns which Owens flicked on to Lowry who ended a strong run into the box with a neat finish across the keeper into the bottom corner.
The foul for the Crues' spot-kick came in the first minute of the game, with Andreas Eriksen and Eli Nielsen both seeming to push Owens in the back as he tried to flick the ball on from a long throw into the box.
With David Cushley starting on the bench, the Seaview outfit's record goalscorer's low effort to the keeper's left was too tame and Jorgensen dived to make the save.
Clarke had a dipping free-kick saved on his line by Jorgensen and a minute later the winger found Owens with a right-wing cross but his header was straight at the keeper.
Declan Caddell, whose testimonial will take place against Rangers at Seaview on Saturday, headed wide from a corner and Clarke had a half volley from an Owens flick-on saved.
The Faroese side came within inches of equalising with their only significant effort of the match when Arni Frederiksberg struck the crossbar with a well-hit curling free-kick from 20 yards.
The tempo dropped in the second half before Lowry's goal gave the Crues a more healthy lead to take into the away leg.
- 3HegartyBooked at 30mins
- 2BurnsBooked at 90mins
- 12CaddellBooked at 42minsSubstituted forHaleat 63'minutes
- 14ForsytheBooked at 56minsSubstituted forThompsonat 90+9'minutes
- 17RuddyBooked at 38mins
- 22HeatleySubstituted forCushleyat 78'minutes
- 6NielsenBooked at 2mins
- 3Tór NaesBooked at 10mins
- 2EriksenBooked at 62mins
- 28PrzybylskiSubstituted forAgnarssonat 90+1'minutes
- 11CieslewiczBooked at 41minsSubstituted forJacobsenat 90+7'minutes
- 18HeinesenSubstituted forRadosavljevicat 60'minutes
- Yigal Frid