Elfsborg humble depleted Greens
Floriana endured a nightmarish start to their Europa League campaign as they Greens crashed to a humiliating 8-0 defeat to Swedish side Elsborg in the first qualifying round, first leg tie at the Boras Arena yesterday.
The Greens, who travelled with a depleted squad of 15 players for yesterday’s match, were never in the match against superior opponents who were in total control right from the outset and all but secured the tie by the end of the first half when they opened a five-goal lead.
On the change of ends, Elsborg effected a couple of changes but still managed to add another three goals for a comprehensive victory that made next week’s second leg just a formality.
For Floriana, it was the second time in the space of two seasons that they lost a European tie by eight clear goals after last season they lost to AEK Larnaca 8-0 at the Hibs Stadium.
Elsborg wer off to a flier and they were already two goals to the good inside the first ten minutes following goals from Niklas Hult (5) and Amadou Jawo (10).
More woes followed for Floriana as Hult made it 3-0 on 24 minutes and two minutes later Tyrone Farrugia upended the goal-bound Jawo inside the area to concede a penalty. Referee John Beaton showed the red card to the Floriana defender and from the resultant penalty Hult completed his hat-trick.
Eight minutes from the break, Elfsborg made it 5-0 through Lars Nilsson.
Despite the hefty advantage, the Swedes kept attacking on the change of ends completed the rout when netting three times in the opening 15 minutes of the second half through Victor Claesson (51), Per Frick (54) and Johan Larsson (62).
Elfsborg: K. Stuhr-Ellegaard, J. Jonsson, A. Klarstom (58 C. Wede), Jorgensen, J. Larsson, M. Svensson, V. Claesson, N. Hult (66 S. Holmen), M. Rohden, L. Nilsson (46 P. Frick), A. Jawo.
Floriana: Jur. Borg, D. Pisani, F. Gusman, T. Farrugia, B. Farrugia, T. Paris, M. Micallef, C. Caruana (84 J. Brincat), I. Woods (78 R. Darmanin), Jos. Borg (17 S. Borg), C. Borg.
Referee: John Beaton (Scotland)