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Dons wilt in heat to exit Europa League

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes: frustrated (photo by SNS Group)

Apollon Limassol 2 Aberdeen 0 (3-2 agg)
Europa League third qualifying round second leg

Aberdeen blew their hopes of a European campaign by forfeiting a 2-1 home lead to exit the Europa League at the third qualifying stage for the fourth consecutive season.

In a game interrupted by flares and water breaks because of the heat, the visitors struggled to find any consistency in their game.

The home side frustrated the few Dons attacks, leaving manager Derek McInnes frustrated by his team’s lack of progress in a tie that appeared winnable.

In particular their failure to create chances may become an issue for the domestic season starting on Saturday.

McInnes made one change from the team that edged out Apollon last week with Jayden Stockley replacing Nicky Maynard up front.

It was the same team that triumphed 2-0 in Bosnia against Siroki Brijeg. Adam Rooney didn’t travel because of a thigh injury.

McInnes said: “I felt this was a tie we could get through, but we were beaten fair and square and only have ourselves to blame.

“It is a missed opportunity for us. I really believe that.”

The game was marred by crowd trouble among both sets of supporters with riot police being called to restore order.

McInnes later criticised stewarding at the match. He told a radio interviewer: “We expected it to be a bit volatile. We expected there to be plenty of passions from the side but it did boil over at times.

“I’m hearing our fans were treated terribly by the stewards here as well. Steaming in with flares and tear gas and everything else to try to defuse the situation.

“I didn’t get to see it but I’m hearing it second-hand. And when you see some of the stuff that was going on.

“Things getting thrown onto the pitch, people spitting into the dugout, players getting thrown on.

“That’s when you should have seen the stewards being more visible, not treating our fans the way they did.”

Aberdeen said the club had “commenced dialogue with the stadium operators, Apollon Limassol and the authorities” about the events.





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