AEK Larnaca 1-0 Cork City (2-0 on agg)
Cork City bowed out of Europe as AEK Larnaca claimed a 1-0 win for the second week running the Europa League qualifying.
Florian’s 33rd minute goal was enough for the Cypriot outfit in this second round tie as City struggled to create meaningful chances in the high temperatutres in the AEK Arena.
The Larnaca striker headed home a cross in the first half just as City were getting to grips with the game.
The Premier Division leaders enjoyed more possession in the second half but bar a penalty appeal from Sean Maguire in his final game in a City shirt, there was little to shout about.
AEK made a bright start and threatened twice in the opening minutes. Florian saw his shot blocked for a corner and then Joan Truyols’ defelcted effort was tipped over the crossbar by Mark McNulty.
Stephen Dooley trickled a shot wide following a mazy run at the midway point in the first half as John Caulfield’s men began to settle, but they were not offering a huge threat going forward.
The home side went in front as Florian stayed just onside to head into to an empty net with Mark McNulty already committing from his line trying to get on the end of the cross. It left City with a mountain to climb at the break.
Larnaca showed experienced as they frustrated City in the second period with clear simulation and City’s frustration grew.
John Caulfield made three changes within 10 minutes as Karl Sheppard, Kieran Sadlier and Achille Campion were introduced, but they they had little impact.
The final acts of the game summed up the tie for City as Juan Pablo was booked for time-wasting in the AEK goal, and then in his last act as a City player, Maguire shot tamely at ‘keeper and the home side advanced 2-0 on aggregate.