Europa League - Qualifying Second Round
Viking FKViking FK0AberdeenAberdeen2

Viking FK 0-2 Aberdeen: Scottish side set up tie with Sporting Lisbon

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland
Ryan Hedges' goal direct from a corner sealed Aberdeen's win
Ryan Hedges' goal direct from a corner sealed Aberdeen's win

Aberdeen set up a Europa League tie with Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon by beating FK Viking in their second qualifying round match in Stavanger.

Ross McCrorie's fine strike from the edge of the box - his second in as many games - put the Scottish Premiership side in front before the break.

In an open game the Norwegian hosts posed a threat, but Ryan Hedges' goal directly from a corner sealed victory.

Their reward is a trip to Lisbon to play for a spot in the play-off round.

Viking, who sit eighth in the Norwegian top flight after 17 games, had averaged three goals per game in a five-match unbeaten run domestically, while also conceding plenty at the other end.

It was little surprise then, that they looked to get forward whenever possible while frequently leaving gaps for Aberdeen to exploit.

Marley Watkins headed over after four minutes, and Scott Wright was denied by the foot of Viking goalkeeper Iven Autsbo when played clean through by Hedges.

McCrorie's hit on the half volley into the bottom corner just a minute before the break was the perfect boost for the visitors as they headed for the dressing room, and they were made to wait for confirmation as referee Filip Glova and his assistant assessed whether Andrew Considine had obstructed Austbo's line of sight from an offside position.

Viking themselves carved open several good opportunities to score. Ylldren Ibrahimaj headed well over from just four yards out in the first-half, while Veton Berisha flashed a low shot inches past a post after the break and was also prevented from tapping home by a lunging Considine.

But just as the home side looked increasingly menacing, Aberdeen managed to counter attack and win a corner, from which Hedges remarkably curled the ball around Austbo and into the net to ease any late nerves.

Man of the match - Ross McCrorie

Despite a shaky start defensively, McCrorie went on to put in another accomplished performance in yet another position and grabbed a fine opening goal
Despite a shaky start defensively, McCrorie went on to put in another accomplished performance in yet another position and grabbed a fine opening goal

What did we learn?

Right wing-back can be added to the list of positions that new signing McCrorie can play in, although he was exposed at times in the first half. The versatile 22-year-old has been a revelation since joining from Rangers last month, and added a second impressive goal in the space of a week.

Aberdeen have now won six straight games in all competitions and look as impressive as they have for some time. They fizzed the ball about and fashioned plenty of chances, though did lack some urgency when it came to landing the killer blow. Nevertheless, an accomplished away performance in Europe is something Scottish sides regularly struggle to do and deserves enormous credit.

They can look forward to a 'glamour tie' with Sporting with their confidence high.

What's next?

Aberdeen will aim to win a seventh game in a row when they host Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

Line-ups

Viking FK

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Austbø
  • 3VevatneSubstituted forBjørsholat 76'minutes
  • 35Heggheim
  • 5AndressonSubstituted forHøilandat 76'minutes
  • 23Vikstøl
  • 20Ibrahimaj
  • 8Bell
  • 9Torsteinbø
  • 11de LanlaySubstituted forØstensenat 85'minutes
  • 14Berisha
  • 7Bytyqi

Substitutes

  • 10Høiland
  • 13Crowe
  • 16Østensen
  • 17Sebulonsen
  • 18Bjørshol
  • 26de Souza

Aberdeen

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 3Hoban
  • 5McKenna
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 72mins
  • 40McCrorie
  • 15McGeouchSubstituted forLoganat 73'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 17Hayes
  • 25WrightSubstituted forOjoat 72'minutes
  • 11Hedges
  • 50WatkinsSubstituted forMainat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Logan
  • 8Ojo
  • 9Main
  • 10McGinn
  • 14Taylor
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Cerny
Referee:
Filip Glova

Match Stats

Home TeamViking FKAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home18
Away20
Shots on Target
Home2
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home5
Away11

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