Our defending champions and cup winners host Irish side Shamrock Rovers in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off tie at the Groupama Arena. In the first leg of the group-round decider, Stanislav Cherchesov fielded a starting line-up of Dibusz - Wingo, Botka, Knoester, Pászka - Laidouni, Besic - Auzqui, Tokmac, Traoré - R. Mmaee.
Our team started the game and immediately took control. In the second minute we were in front of the Irish goal, but Tokmac's centering attempt was blocked by the defence. We continued to have our way and attacked Rovers and managed to distract them several times. In the eighth minute, we scored in the visitors' penalty area, but Ryan Mmaee's shot hit the post and the rebound was saved by Mannus.
Two minutes later, Besic was fouled and the Irish side were awarded a free-kick from a promising position. The spot-kick was eventually taken by Watts, but his shot gave Dibusz no trouble. After the away opportunity, the visitors were again pushed towards their goal, and in the 13th minute Auzqui slotted home (1-0).
Even with the lead, we kept the pace up, we had the ball and took more initiative. In the 23rd minute, Pászka crossed in after a nice trick, but his right-footed shot missed the goal. After an early Irish free-kick, Rovers threatened first in the 29th minute, but the cross from the left was not met.
We continued to pressure, the Irish only managed to break free occasionally, but we got the ball back in front of their goal almost immediately. In the 33rd minute, Ryan Mmaee fought his way through four men, but his shot again hit the post. Seconds later, however, Rovers were out of luck as our Moroccan striker centred from the baseline and Adama Traoré came through the middle to score his second goal for Fradi (2-0).
Four minutes before the end of the first half, Laidouni shot from outside the penalty area but Mannus saved. In the minutes of extra time, Rovers tried another header from a free kick, but the attempt missed the target. There was no further action in the first half and we went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
After the turnaround, we had to wait two minutes for the first situation: after Ryan Mmaee's cross, Tokmac's shot was saved by the goalkeeper, but the defenders couldn't free themselves, they passed the ball right onto Traoré's feet, and our Malian striker scored the third goal with an cool-headed finish (3-0).
In the 57th minute, Ryan Mmaee was again in position, but the Moroccan striker could not find the net. Three minutes later Rovers made a triple substitution with Towell, Byrne and Farrugia replacing Gaffney, Kavanagh and Gannon.
Shortly afterwards we made the same change: Ryan Mmaee and Auzqui left the pitch, replaced by Boli and Marquinhos. The newly introduced Brazilian winger got into position, but hit the ball badly and the three-goal difference remained. Halfway through the half, Shamrock took a free-kick from a dangerous position but Pászka blocked the shot with his head.
Twenty minutes from the final whistle, both sides made changes, with Vécsei replacing Besic and Ferizaj coming on for Watts. After the substitutions we quickly created another opportunity , but first Mannus saved and then the second was blocked by the defence. Tetteh replaced then Greene in the 79th minute.
Civic and Mercier also came on at the break, the former replacing Pászka and the latter Traore. A solo run put the Irish in position, but his effort was well wide of the target. In the last minute of normal time, Wingo fired in a left-footed shot that missed the target. In the seven minutes of extra time, Boli was on target for Shamrock Rovers, but Mannus made a great save to keep out a corner. The corner kick found Civic, who was outside the box, and he smashed the ball into the net (4-0).
Ferencváros won 4-0 against Shamrock Rovers at the Groupama Arena, and will take a confident lead into the return leg in Dublin on 25 August.
UEFA Europa League, play-off, Match 1
FTC - Shamrock Rovers 4-0 (2-0)
Budapest, Ferencváros Stadium, 15.239 spectators
FTC: Dibusz - Wingo, Botka, Knoester, Pászka (Civic, 85.) - Laidouni, Besic (Vécsei, 70.) - Auzqui (Marquinhos, 63.), Tokmac, Traoré (Mercier, 85.) - R. Mmaee (Boli, 63.)
Head coach: Stanislav Cherchesov
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus - Hoare, Cleary, Grace - Gannon (Farrugia, 61), Watts, O'Neill, Kavanagh (Byrne, 61), Lyons - Gaffney (Towell, 61), Greene
Head coach: Stephen Bradley
Yellow cards: Auzqui (27th), Knoester (45+2), Hoare (13th), Grace (49th), Farrugia (72nd)
Goals: Auzqui (13th), Traoré (34th, 48th), Civic (90+3rd)
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