A FOURGONE CONCLUSION; AWAY DAY MISERY FOR BELFAST DUO Reds battered in Sweden by classy Kalmar.
Kalmar 4 Cliftonville 0 IT WAS only one week ago that Cliftonville fans were celebrating a famous 1-0 victory over Swedish oufit Kalmar.
That famous European triumph was a fizzing, vibrant performance that gave the Red Army genuine hope of progression to the next round.
Hopes were high amongst the Cliftonville support that they could progress - not least because Kalmar looked a distinctly average team which lacked the quality you'd expect from a professional outfit.
Sadly that belief was dismantled in just 38 minutes inside the impressive Guldfaglen stadium as the Reds shipped three firsthalf goals, easily surrendering the lead they had fought so hard to obtain in Belfast.
The Swedes showed their real worth as they turned up the heat of Tommy Breslin's men, forcing them into a series of errors that gifted Kalmar a comfortable aggregate victory.
Erik Israelsson wiped out Cliftonville's first leg lead after only 10 minutes when he got onto the end of a pass from Mans Soderqvist, before curling the ball into the net - although Reds goalkeeper Ryan Brown did get a touch on the ball.
Cliftonville's travelling support were none too impressed with Slovakian referee Jozef Pavlik who failed to notice a handball from Archie Gutu in the build up to the goal.
The home side took the lead in the tie just six minutes later when Gutu chipped the ball to the back post, after Cliftonville failed to clear a corner, for Nenad Dordevic to tap home. Reds boss Tommy Breslin is unlikely to be impressed by his side's defending - George McMullan, Ryan Catney and Dairmuid O'Carroll all had chances to clear the ball before Dordevic found the net.
Nigerian Abiloa Dauda put the tie beyond doubt in the 38th minute when he beat Ryan Brown to a long ball to head home. With the Reds 3-0 down at half-time many would have expected the Swedish side to run up a cricket score, but Cliftonville dug deep and put in creditable secondhalf display. Tenacious midfielder George McMullan had two opportunities in the second period. Berisha saved a close-range header from a Marty Donnelly corner midway through the half.
With only seven minutes of play remaining McMullan also had a chance blocked but in truth Kalmar were seldom troubled by Cliftonville's advances.
The final goal of the game arrived two minutes into injurytime when midfielder Ryan Catney gave away a penalty when he bundled over Brazilian Danny Mendes with a clumsy tackle.
Kalmar goalkeeper Berisha stepped up and slammed the ball beyond a disconsolate Brown.
JEEPERS KEEPERS Kalmar number one Etrit Berisha steps up to put a late penalty past Ryan Brown last night as Cliftonville went down by four goals to nil in Sweden