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TURKISH DELIGHT; EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFIERS DERRY 0 TRABZONSPOR 3 Trabzonspor have just too much in the locker.

Byline: MICHAEL SCULLY irishsport@mirror.co.uk

THEY were the first Irish club to win in European competition, back in 1965 against FK Lyn.

Forty-eight years on, the task for Derry City was one of personal and collective gain.

They had to overcome a club ranked almost 200 places above them - a side that held a 4-2 advantage from a pulsating second qualifying round first leg at the Avni Aker Stadium.

If they produced this mission impossible it would mean the Airtricity League's still maintained representation in European competition.

But Declan Devine's side couldn't pull off what was always going to be a long shot - and the dispiriting moment had arrived for the league earlier than it had done fin the past 14 years.

It took a herculean effort to restore parity after conceding twice in the opening 16 minutes by the Black Sea last Thursday, only for Trabzonspor to score two crucial second-half goals.

But it meant the tie was still alive and, as Derry fans remembered great Brandywell nights when their team beat IFK Gothenburg and held PSG, they believed a miracle could occur.

Confirmation before kick-off that top scorer Rory Patterson and influential midfielder Kevin Deery wouldn't make it dulled that belief a little.

When they reflect on this second leg, the Candystripes will point to several chances with the second leg scoreless that could have transformed the tie - most notably headers by Ruairdhi Higgins and Stewart Greacan.

But it wasn't enough, and three clinical second half goals for Trabzonspor underlined it.

Derry craved an early goal to propel them back into the tie and their wish almost came true in the sixth minute when Ryan McBride found room on the byline.

His cross was barely flicked away by Trabzonspor keeper Onur Kivrak but with Simon Madden ready to head home at the back post, Olcan Adin denied the attack-minded full-back.

But the danger the visitors posed on the break was illustrated 10 minutes later when only the quickthinking of Derry keeper Ger Doherty prevented Paulo Henrique's through ball reaching Volkan Sen.

As the first-half progressed the millionaires from Turkey turned the screw as they won a succession of corners, which the Candystripes defended well.

When they did manage a 31st minute break-out, Paddy McEleney chased a lost cause into the left corner. His hopeful back-flick found Eoghan Osbourne, the only change from last week.

The new signing - he made his debut off the bench last week - fired over a cross from deep and Higgins headed goalwards.

Onur Kivrak, the visitors' keeper, did well to hold on with McDaid bearing down on him.

However the best chance of the opening period fell to Trabzonspor in the 44th minute - and Derry had Simon Madden to thank for keeping them in the tie to the break.

Once again showing their ability to break at pace, the Turks took advantage of Greacan's absence from defence - he had gone up for a long throw-in.

Mierzejewski, a sub for Poland in last February's friendly against Ireland in Dublin, superbly trapped Osbourne's defensive header before flicking into the path of the unmarked Sen.

Although the little winger's shot was parried by Doherty, it was going to cross the goal-line until Madden somehow got there to clear.

The Turks made two changes for the second-half but it was Derry who went tantalisingly close again to an early breakthrough.

Greacan met a Paddy Kavanagh corner and the alert Kivrak did well to tip over the header.

Within seconds, though, Trabzonspor killed the tie. Henrique wasn't closed down as the visitors burst through the centre.

Madden got there, but inadvertently prodded into the path of Mierzejewski and he made no mistake.

Sensing blood, the visitors rattled off three more goal chances in quick succession but Derry held out.

It was but a brief respite. They conceded a second when Henrique pounced on Sen's low cross eight minutes from time, and sub Abdulkadir Ozdemir finished the job a minute into injury time.

CAPTION(S):

TUSSLE Shane McEleney and Zeki Yavru last night

FLY OUT OF TRABS Trabzonspor celebrate Ozdemir's goal at the Brandywell last night
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 26, 2013
Words:688
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