SEAN LIKE A STAR AGAIN; CORK CITY 4 LEVADIA TALLINN 2 (Cork win 6-2 on aggregate) Europa League 1st Qualifying Round, Turner's Cross; Cork progress as Maguire becomes top Euro scorer.
Byline: JOHN MORGAN
CORK City twice came from behind as they saw off Estonia's Levadia Tallinn in their Europa League first round qualifier at a packed Turner's Cross last night.
Top scorer Seanie Maguire netted another three goals for the Rebel fans to remember him by ahead of his departure to Preston North End at the end of the month.
Cork boss John Caulfield went with an unchanged team from that which won the first leg 2-0 in Parnu last week.
But Levadia, league runners-up in Estonia last year, made two changes with defender Artom Atrjunin coming into the back four for the suspended Tabi Manga and Nikita Andreev coming into midfield for winger Pavel Marin.
Kevin O'Connor fired just wide from 30 yards in Cork's opening gambit before Joao Morelli tested Mark McNulty from outside the box before the home team were denied a lead goal by the woodwork.
Jimmy Keohane's cross met by Garry Buckley and his looping header came back off the far post.
Karl Sheppard missed a half chance before Stephen Dooley had a penalty claim waved away in the 14th minute.
But City were stunned when the Tallinn side took the led in the 15th minute. Winger Eugeni Kobzar ran at the home defence down the left before shooting low into the far corner of the net.
Ryan Delany glanced a header just wide from O'Connor's cross before Cork drew level on 28 minutes from a set piece.
Greg Bolger's free-kick was glanced home by Sheppard (inset) in a crowded penalty area to make it 1-1 and 3-1 to City on aggregate.
Yet, ju Est a just five minutes later, the Estonians were back in tie again as Nikita Andreev headed in Kobzar's cross, albeit there was a clear handball in the lead up to the goal by Levadia's No.99.
It stayed that way until the break, when Caulfield will have left his men in no doubt that they needed to sharpen up in the second half.
And his team responded, making it 2-2 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate just 28 seconds after the restart.
Maguire was the man in with the golden touch again, netting with a back-heeled finish from Sheppard's goal. That drew him level with former skipper Dan Murray in the record books but the striker wasn't done there.
Cork were in the ascendancy now for the first time in the game and created several chances, with Maguire taking two of them to emerge as the club's top European goal-scorer.
Job done then for the Rebels as they qualified to play Cypriot side AEK Larnaca in a two-legged second round qualifier next week.
CORK CITY - McNulty; Keohane, McCormack, Delaney, O'Connor; Bolger (capt), Morrissey; Sheppard, Buckley, Dooley; Maguire. Subs: Beattie for Sheppard (69 mins), Griffin for Dooley (77 mins), Campion for Bolger (84)
LEVADIA TALLINN - Lepmets; Dudarev, Atrjunin, Podholjuzin, Gando; Krznaric, Roosnupp; Andreev, Morelli, Kobzar; Hunt (c) Subs: Marin for Kobzar (60 mins), Teever for Andreev (86 mins)
Referee: Gunnar Jarl Jonsson (Iceland)
IN THE THICK OF IT Cork City star Seanie Maguire was too much for the Levadia defence to handle last night
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 7, 2017|
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