Cliftonville’s spirited European journey was finally ended at the Nagyerdei Stadion on Tuesday night.
The Reds – who were missing prolific striker Joe Gormley through injury – fell to two second half goals as favourites Debrecen earned a 2-0 aggregate victory to progress to the third qualifying round of the Champions League where they will meet BATE Borisov of Belarus.
It was always going to be a massive test for Tommy Breslin’s side in Hungary, and in the 54th minute that challenge quickly descended into mission impossible for the Irish League representatives.
First, defender Jamie McGovern was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Debrecen striker Dalibor Volas just outside the area.
And from the resulting free-kick, Rene Mihelic compounded the visitors’ misery with a shot that found its way past the despairing dive of Cliftonville goalkeeper Conor Devlin.
Ibrahima Sidibe dispatched Mihaly Korhut’s cross 11 minutes from time to double Debrecen’s lead and finish off the weary Reds.