Aberdeen and Saints progress

  • Last Updated: July 24 2014, 23:44 BST

A review of Thursday night's Europa League qualifying action, including progression for Aberdeen and St Johnstone.

Niall McGinn celebrates his goal against Groningen
Niall McGinn celebrates his goal against Groningen

Aberdeen set up a Europa League clash with Real Sociedad after first-half goals from Adam Rooney and Niall McGinn earned them a memorable 2-1 win over Groningen in Holland.

Aberdeen knew that an away goal would be crucial following a goalless Pittodrie clash and they got it 26 minutes into the second leg of the second qualifying round when Rooney converted a penalty.

McGinn followed up after Rooney hit the bar seven minutes later and Aberdeen looked like strolling through.

But Maikel Kieftenbeld pulled one back just before the break and Aberdeen had to ride out some uncomfortable periods in the second half.

But a defence supplemented with Andrew Considine, who started in place of Barry Robson, held firm to the delight of their travelling fans.

Alan Mannus was St Johnstone's hero as they won through to the third qualifying round courtesy of a dramatic penalty shoot-out against FC Luzern.

The Northern Irish keeper produced a superb save from Marco Schneuwly's spot-kick, the second of the Swiss side's five, and extra-time substitute Tam Scobbie completed a perfect set for Saints to give the Perth men a 5-4 triumph.

A mini pitch invasion at the climax, which could get the club into trouble with UEFA, was the only negative on another historic night for the Scottish Cup winners.

Following a 1-1 draw in Lucerne last week, the sides battled to the same scoreline over 90 minutes in the return leg at McDiarmid Park.

A 23rd-minute penalty from fans' favourite Stevie May gave St Johnstone a one-goal advantage, with the comfort of an away goal also in the bag, but Schneuwly, just four minutes after being introduced in the 54th minute from his surprise place on the bench, ensured the teams finished regulation time all square.

Saints substitute Liam Caddis crashed a shot off the upright just two minutes from the end of extra time and it was left to penalties to separate the teams after three and a half hours of football.

Steven MacLean, Caddis, Dave Mackay - who missed in last year's agonising penalty-kicks defeat to FC Minsk - and May left it on the shoulders of Scobbie, who made no mistake with an emphatic fifth.

Motherwell threw away a lead for the third time in their Europa League qualifier against Stjarnan to suffer a 3-2 extra-time defeat and crash out of the tournament in Iceland.

Motherwell, who led 2-0 at Fir Park before being pegged back in injury-time, again got an early goal when Steven Hammell scored a rare header but Keith Lasley gave away his third penalty of the tie and Olafur Finsen levelled in the 37th minute.

Lionel Ainsworth volleyed Motherwell ahead midway through the second half, but Rolf Toft took the game into extra-time with an impressive strike five minutes from time and Atli Johansson scored a spectacular winner in the second period of extra-time to secure a 5-4 aggregate win.

Mike Jensen broke Sligo hearts as Rosenborg hit back to book their place in the third qualifying round.

The Airtricity League side led 3-1 on aggregate at the Showgrounds when Danny North fired them into a 13th-minute lead, but Pal Andre Helland levelled on the night within three minutes before Jensen's second-half double took the Norwegians through 4-3.

Derry City's hopes of progression were ended in emphatic fashion in Belarus by Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

The visitors cancelled out Shakhtyor's 1-0 first-leg lead with Michael Duffy's sixth-minute opener, but the home side were back on terms within three minutes through Sergei Balanovich and further goals from Alexander Guruli, Dmitri Osipenko, Nikolai Yanush and Ilya Galyuza secured a 6-1 aggregate victory.

Northern Ireland's Linfield suffered heartache too as they were unable to cling on to the 1-0 lead with which they headed for AIK Solna.

The visitors remained ahead in the tie until the 56th minute, when Kennedy Igboananike levelled to set the stage for Henok Goitom to put the Swedes through 18 minutes from time.

There was victory on the night, but a 3-2 defeat on aggregate, for Dundalk in Croatia.

Stephen Kenny's men trailed 3-0 to Hajduk Split on aggregate when Jean Evrard Kouassi fired the home side ahead, but second-half goals from Patrick Hoban and Kurtis Byrne made for a tense conclusion.

Crusaders too emerged with a positive result, although they could only draw 1-1 with Swedes IF Brommapojkarna at Seaview after losing the first leg 4-0.

Skipper Colin Coates put the home side ahead with 17 minutes gone, but Dardan Rexhepi equalised within 10 minutes to secure a 5-1 aggregate win.

Meanwhile, Barclays Premier League Hull will face Trencin in their first ever European tie - although the Slovakians had to survive a concerted fightback by FK Vojvodina, who trailed 4-0 going into the second leg but won 3-0 in Serbia.