Ten-man Cliftonville bow out of Europa League following defeat in Cyprus

Cliftonvilles Chris Curran in action against AEK Larnaca
Cliftonvilles Chris Curran in action against AEK Larnaca

Ten-man Cliftonville bowed out of the Europa League last night following a 2-0 defeat in Cyprus.

The Reds – trailing 3-2 from last week’s first leg at Solitude – were outdone by goals from Vladimir Boljevic and Tomás Campasol as AEK Larnaca claimed a 5-2 aggregate win.

It was a tough night at the office for Gerard Lyttle’s side, who had defender Caoimhin Bonner sent off for a high tackle in the 11th minute.

Midfielder Boljevic fired home a superb strike to give the hosts the lead just before half-time.

Tomas doubled the lead in the 48th minute to send Larnaca into the third qualifying round.

Levi Ives had a shot saved early in the game while former Portadown defender Chris Ramsey – who came on as a substitute – had a shot blocked.

AEK progress to play Spartak Moscow in the next round.

Cliftonville – who beat Differdange 03 in the first qualifying round of the Europa League– will now focus on preparing for the new domestic season.

The Reds kick-off their Danske Bank Premiership campaign away to Ards on August 6.

AEK Larnaka: Miño, Mojsov (Alves Dos Santos 45), Catalá, Sansimena Chamorro (Ioannou 77); Tomás Campasol, Trickovski (Englezou 68), Charalambidis, Larena-Avellaneda Roig, Boljevic, Murillo, Ortiz Palazón.

SUBS NOT USED: Saizar, Konstantinou, Charalambous, Mintikkis.

CLIFTONVILLE: Mooney, Ives, McGovern, Curran (Murray 74), Knowles, Catney, Bonner, Cosgrove, McDaid (Ramsey 14), Winchester (Garrett 55), Donnelly.

SUBS NOT USED: Hughes, Murray, Lavery.

Referee: Tihomir Pejin