Europa League: Saints and Hibs opponents confirmed

Hibs will take on Malmo in their Europa League clash. Picture: SNS
Hibs will take on Malmo in their Europa League clash. Picture: SNS
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ST Johnstone will tackle Rosenborg after the Norwegians disposed of Crusaders 7-2 last night, while Scottish Cup finalists Hibernian will travel to Sweden following Malmo’s 2-0 win over Drogheda United in the Uefa Europa League Qualification Round 1.

Erik Forsberg put the Swedes ahead after 45 minutes but it took them until the final minute to make the game safe through midfielder Simon Kroon – particularly nerve wracking as a single strike by the Irish side would have taken them through on away goals after a goalless first leg.

Rosenborg had few such problems as goals by Jon Inge Hoiland and Nigerian John Chibuke put the former Champions League quarter-finalists in the driving seat against the Northern Irish outfit.

Paul Leeman pulled one back for Crusaders but Chibuke was then on the mark once more in the second half and the Norwegians put the foot on the gas, with strikes by Tobias Mikkelson, Alexander Sorloth and Jonas Svensson ensuring the qualification was a comfortable one with a 9-3 aggregate. Jordan Owens got the second consolation for Drogheda.

Elsewhere, former Tranmere and Grimsby midfielder Andy Parkinson scored the winning penalty as Prestatyn progressed through to the second qualifying round with a dramatic victory against Liepajas Metalurgs. The Welsh Premier League side had been trailing going into injury time only for Neil Gibson to score and send the tie into extra time, with the teams locked at 3-3 on aggregate. Parkinson’s spot-kick was then followed by a miss by Davis Ikaunieks as Prestatyn claimed a 4-3 penalty shootout victory and a second-round meeting with HNK Rijeka.

Fellow Welsh sides Bala Town and Airbus UK did not fare so well, though, with both narrowly going out. Bala lost 3-2 on aggregate to Levadia Tallinn with Rimo Hunt scoring a hat-trick for the Estonian high-flyers. Hunt cancelled out the visitors’ first-leg lead after six minutes before further goals completed his hat-trick, although Ryan Jones pulled one back a minute from time.

Airbus UK went out on away goals after Ventspils’ 1-1 draw was enough to send the Latvian side through following their goalless stalemate in the first leg.