Linfield progress in Europa League despite 4-3 defeat to NSI Runavik in Toftir

Ivan Sproule takes on Monrad Jacobsen
Ivan Sproule takes on Monrad Jacobsen

Linfield progressed to the second qualifying round of the Europa League after a nervous night in the picturesque setting of the Svangaskaro Stadium in Toftir.

The Blues went down 4-3 on the night to NSI Runavik but went through 5-4 on aggregate.

First half goals from Reece Glendinning and Guy Bates were followed by a vital Andy Waterworth strike in the second half to keep Linfield just ahead in the tie although the home side battled all the way to the end.

Linfield started brightly and took the lead with a vital away goal after 13 minutes.

It was a fine move down the right and when Waterworth found Reece Glendinning he smashed home a superb right foot effort past Gango from a narrow angle.

The Blues were rocked by two-goal blast from the home side in two minutes.

Firstly, Klaemint Olsen raced clear of a static Linfield defence to shoot past Ross Glendinning.

And a few minutes later the visitors conceded again when Hojgaard’s cross was headed into the top corner of the net byJustinussen.

The Blues had a massive escape on 25 minutes when a long range shot from Magnus Olsen crashed off the crossbar with Glendinning well beaten.

Linfield got a deserved equaliser after 33 minutes.

Ivan Sproule did well on the right wing and when the ball fell to Bates a few yards out he smashed it past Gango.

NSI Runavik regained the lead in first half injury time. From a well taken free-kick on the left Joensen fired a low shot past Glendinning and into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

The Blues got back on level terms on the night with a goal from Andy Waterowrth after 69 minutes.

Aaron Burns did superbly well on the left and his cross found Waterworth who made no mistake from close range.

The home side continued to press forward and Ross Glendinning made a great save on 80 minutes.

Klaemint Olsen turned inside the box and his low shot was pushed round the post by the Linfield goalkeeper.

NSI Runavik went ahead on the night again on 84 minutes.

It was a second goal of the night for Justinussen who headed into the net at the back post after a deep cross.

Linfield survived some later pressure to stay ahead in the tie and now go through to face Spartak Trnava from Slovakia with the first leg away next Thursday night.