Match ends, Linfield 0, Rosenborg 2.
Champions League qualifiers: Rosenborg strike twice to beat Linfield
Linfield face a daunting trip to Rosenborg next week where they must overturn a 2-0 first-leg defeat in their Champions League qualifier.
David Healy's side failed to make use of home advantage at Windsor Park and will need a more attacking edge if they are to spring an upset.
Mike Jensen and Alexander Soederlund both scored to leave the Norweigan side in control of their first round tie.
Andy Waterworth's disallowed strike was as close as the Blues came to a goal.
Jensen's deflected strike in the 22nd minute gave the visitors a deserved lead at the break before Soederlund slotted home a second goal in the 69th minute to secure the win.
But the Blues can take some confidence from an improved second-half showing with substitute Shayne Lavery impressing after his introduction.
The two sides will meet again at Rosenborg's Lerkendal Stadium for the return leg on 17 July with the winners advancing to the second-round of qualifiers where they will face either BATE Borisov or Piast Gliwice, who played out a 1-1 first-leg draw in Belarus.
Battle-hardened Rosenborg show cohesion
Rosenborg had lost just one of their previous five away matches before their visit to Belfast and they showed greater cohesion during the opening half at Windsor Park.
Eirik Horneland's side are mid-way through the defence of their Eliteserien title and quickly settled to their task when Marius Lundemo fired a shot narrowly wide before powerful centre-back Tore Reginiussen tested Gareth Deane with a rasping 25-yard strike that the Linfield keeper touched onto his post at full stretch.
The visitors were dominating possession, pinning their hosts deep inside their own half, and deservedly broke the deadlock midway through the first half.
Birger Meling's deep cross from the left found Jensen at the back post and the Rosenborg captain showed good skill to control the ball before his low shot took a slight deflection to beat Deane at his near post.
The Blues showed greater endeavour in the second half but any hopes of snatching a draw were dashed with just over 20 minutes remaining when Soederlund finished off a flowing attack.
The striker produced a cool first-time finish after Anders Konradsen's low cross found him unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
Linfield pushed further forward in the closing stages as they went in search of a goal but Lavery's long-range shot drifted wide and Waterworth's goal was correctly ruled out for offside as Rosenborg held out for a comfortable victory.
Linfield newcomers lead the way
Linfield handed a full debut to new signing Bastien Hery just a day after his arrival in Belfast but the French midfielder and fellow summer signing Lavery were the two major positives on a disappointing night for the home side.
Hery was subdued during the opening half but the 27-year-old became increasingly influential after the restart.
The former Waterford player showed good footwork in midfield, where he attempted to link up with Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew, and he shut down a number of promising Rosenborg attacks with his work rate and excellent positional sense.
Linfield stormed to the Premiership title last season on the strength of their defensive solidity but the introduction of Lavery just before Soederlund's goal hinted at an extra attacking dimension for the Blues this campaign.
The former Everton player immediately produced a powerful run and shot and looked threatening every time he got on the ball, which will give Healy some encouragement ahead of the return leg in Norway.
- 10StewartBooked at 60minsSubstituted forFallonat 89'minutes
- 2StaffordBooked at 34mins
- 12MillarSubstituted forLaveryat 68'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 7WaterworthBooked at 90mins
- 22MulgrewBooked at 67mins
- 8KonradsenSubstituted forTrondsenat 72'minutesBooked at 83mins
- 2Eggen Hedenstad
- 14SøderlundBooked at 90mins
- 25LundemoBooked at 37mins
- 17AkintolaSubstituted forde Lanlayat 61'minutes
- 22ÅsenSubstituted forHellandat 70'minutes
- 11de Lanlay
- 35Konradsen Ceide
- Ivaylo Stoyanov
Second Half ends, Linfield 0, Rosenborg 2.
Andrew Waterworth (Linfield) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Alexander Søderlund (Rosenborg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Linfield. Stephen Fallon replaces Jordan Stewart.
Anders Trondsen (Rosenborg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Rosenborg. Anders Trondsen replaces Anders Ågnes Konradsen.
Shayne Lavery (Linfield) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Rosenborg. Pål André Helland replaces Gjermund Åsen.
Goal! Linfield 0, Rosenborg 2. Alexander Søderlund (Rosenborg) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Linfield. Shayne Lavery replaces Kirk Millar.
Jamie Mulgrew (Linfield) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, Rosenborg. Yann-Erik de Lanlay replaces Babajide David Akintola.
Jordan Stewart (Linfield) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Second Half begins Linfield 0, Rosenborg 1.
First Half ends, Linfield 0, Rosenborg 1.
Marius Lundemo (Rosenborg) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Mark Stafford (Linfield) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Goal! Linfield 0, Rosenborg 1. Mike Jensen (Rosenborg) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
First Half begins.
Lineups are announced and players are warming up.