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Shamrock Rovers player ratings as Molde claim win

A tough one to take for Shamrock Rovers.

Shamrock Rovers slim hopes of qualification from their Europa Conference League group are over, following a defeat at home to runaway Norwegian league leaders Molde at Tallaght Stadium.

Despite dominating the first-half of the game, the Hoops went in behind at the half-time break after a controversial opener for the visitors through David Fofana.

The Hoops then coughed up a second from a set-piece, as Kristian Eriksen headed home in the 69th minute to seal the deal for the visitors.

Shamrock Rovers edged out at Tallaght Stadium.

Within a minute of the game starting, Rovers ought to have taken the lead through Aaron Greene.

Found by a superbly-weighted ball into the box by Richie Towell, Greene flashed his effort wide of goal when it looked easier for the Hoops forward to hit the target.

Shamrock Rovers Molde

Experienced campaigner Ronan Finn then went close with an effort of his own on goal, with Jacob Karlstrom making a mess of a routine save.

Finn then went close himself again shortly after, but he was unable to find the back of the net with his free header on goal. Greene then went close himself again just past the hour mark, forcing Karlstrom into a smart save.

But despite their dominance, Rovers were undone in the 33rd minute through Fofana’s header.

Despite appearing to be offside in the TV replays, the 19-year-old finished off a sweeping counter-attack from the visitors following a perfectly-weighted ball into the box from Emil Breivik.

Fofana then had an opportunity to double Molde’s lead on the stroke of half-time, but Alan Mannus got down well to deny the forward while the pair were one-on-one.

In the second-half, Rovers maintained their high-octane tempo, and went close through Towell. However, the 31-year-old was unable to steer his effort home after a last-ditch save from Karlstrom.

Molde went close themselves minutes after, but Breivik saw his effort hit Mannus’ side-netting.

Just past the hour mark, Mannus was once again forced into a stunning save to deny Wolff Eikrem, but he was unable to save from the resulting corner-kick.

Eriksen ghosted in behind Jack Byrne and Sean Kavanagh to head home the goal that ensured the three points would be going back to Norway.

Greene then found the back of the net, but he was adjudged to have been offside by the officials as Rovers tried to get themselves back into the tie.

Molde then closed the game out with relative ease at the end, as they moved to within three points of group leaders Djurgardens.

For Rovers, the defeat leaves them rooted to the foot of the group, although they can be pleased with their performance despite the end result.

Shamrock Rovers player ratings:

Alan Mannus – 7

Roberto Lopes – 6

Sean Hoare – 6

Daniel Cleary – 6

Ronan Finn – 7

Shamrock Rovers Molde

Gary O’Neill – 7

Dylan Watts – 7

Sean Kavanagh – 6

Jack Byrne – 6.5

Shamrock Rovers Molde

Richie Towell – 7

Aaron Greene – 6


Neil Farrugia – 6

Graham Burke – 6

Justin Ferizaj – 6

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