Derek McInnes saluted his Aberdeen players after they ran Burnley so close at Turf Moor in an epic clash last night, writes Alan Pattullo.
The visitors took the tie into extra time after another 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. But the Scots ran out of energy and luck to fall to a header by Jack Cork and a penalty from Ashley Barnes to make it 4-2 on aggregate.
Burnley now play İstanbul Başakşehir in the Europa League third qualifying round.
Lewis Ferguson’s audacious overhead kick to equalise Chris Wood’s opener had brought Aberdeen back into the tie.
McInnes described the 18 year-old’s performance as “outstanding”.
“He epitomised the team,” added the Aberdeen manager. “He has the personality and confidence. He is an outstanding young man who will only get better. Nothing fazes him. He can match them physically and also light up a game, like he did tonight.”
“I congratulate Burnley first and foremost,” he added. “It was a fantastic game. The intensity over two games was remarkable at this stage of season. Both sets of fans helped generate a great night.
“I am disappointed for my player and supporters who put so much into it. But we can’t afford to be too disappointed with Rangers to come on Sunday.
“It was harsh. Burnley got the all-important first goal in extra time. 3-1 was harsh on the team. But we will take the positives from it.”
Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, was full of admiration for Aberdeen.“You have to credit Aberdeen,” he said. “There were a lot of things said about this, that and the other over the tie but they asked us a lot of questions over both games.
“Their goalkeeper (Joe Lewis) was outstanding. He made some fantastic saves.”