Cork City 0
Legia Warsaw 1
Cork City face a difficult trip to Poland in the second leg to try and keep their Champions League qualification dreams alive.
City proved more than a match for the Polish side in front of a crowd of 5,795. The home side had three early within the first quarter when Karl Sheppard almost made contact with a cross from Jimmy Keohane. Minutes later a chance fell to Barry McNamee thanks to some confusion in defence from Legia but mishit the ball under pressure and it bounced off the defender for a corner.
City’s purple patch quickly dried up as Legia, who enjoyed most of the possession, began to pile on the pressure. Their best chance in the first half came when a ball dropped to the feet of Sebastian Szymanski who saw his shot sail narrowly over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
The home side were gifted a number of opportunities from set pieces but failed to make them count. They were awarded a free on the 20 yard line which deflected off Kante and went out for a corner. With the crowd behind them, Keohane crossed in two corners within the space of four minutes but Cork fumbled with the ball in the box and Legia were allowed to counter.
City enjoyed the better start tot the second half although they were dealt a blow early on when Gearóid Morrissey was forced off through injury. His replacement, Graham Cummins found himself with a golden opportunity minutes after his introduction when he was let through one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his shot was weak and Malarz saved easily.
Cork seemed to be soaking up the pressure from visitors well. Maczynski caught the defence standing off but sent his shot just wide.
But City couldn’t hold them off any longer and the goal came as a result of a set-piece. From a free kick, the ball was rolled to Michal Kucharczyk who struck the ball from 30 yards out and hit a sensational shot past Peter Cherrie. City did have an opportunity to equalise when substitute, Kieran Sadlier sent a lingering cross into the box but none of the approaching Cork players could connect with it.
Despite their best efforts, Cork walk away empty handed from Turners Cross and leave themselves with a mountain to climb in the Polish Army Stadium next Tuesday night.