Converted a spot kick in added-on time
A desperately disapponting night for Rovers in Lithuania as a goal in each half secured the home sides progress despite Gary McCabes late penalty and although Rovers had some good possession they never seriously threatened 'keeper Zubas.
On a very hot evening in Panevezys both teams started very cautiously with the only action in the first ten minutes saw Varnas shoot on goal but Jansson easily saved. Billy Dennehy did well on 12 minutes on the left wing but he couldn't pick out Gary Twigg in the box. Two minutes later Ronan Finn almost played in Gary McCabe but Zubas was quick off his line to claim the ball.
In the 17th minute Andjelkovic won the ball on the left but fired his shot across goal. Tomkevicius crossed to the back post just before the 20th minute and he found Vertelis in space in space but fortunately for Rovers his shot went over the bar. The first real chance of the game came in the 21st minute when Lukša got in behind Conor Powell but Jansson advanced to block his effort from close range.
Billy Dennehy tried his luck from distance on 23 minutes but his shot sailed over the bar. On 30 minutes Pat Sullivan raided down the right but his cross was too close to Zubas. Rovers had a chance on 33 minutes when a Dennehy cross was deflected up in the air in the box and Finn made contact with the ball but miss-hit the shot and Zubas saved easily.
Good approach play from the Hoops on 34 minutes saw Finns cross blocked while at the other end Jansson advanced to claim the ball ahead of Lukša. On 37 minutes a Dennehy free-kick to the back post saw Twigg just fail to make contact. Brennan then ran at the Ekranas defence and crossed for Twigg but defender Samusiovas got his head to the ball first.
[GOAL 1:0 - 45th + 1 min.] Rovers were hit with a sucker punch right on the blow for half-time when Tomkevicius found space on the right to cross for the unmarked Andjelkovic to head past Jansson from 8 yards out.
The Hoops responded brightly at the start of the second-period and McCabe crossed from the right for Dennehy at the back post but he didn't make proper contact with the ball and the chance was lost. Twigg and McCabe combined on 52 minutes but just failed to play Brennan into the box.
The home side threatened again on 54 minutes when Vertelis raided down the left and found Varnas in the box but his shot was weak and Jansson saved. Rovers were wasteful just before the hour mark when firstly Brennan shot over the bar from a long way out and then the same player again fired over the bar from a free-kick 35 yards from goal.
[GOAL 2:0 - 63rd min.] The home side extended their lead when Kymantas ran at the Hoops defence and despite the attention of Craig Sives placed a low shot from outside of the box past the despairing dive of Jansson and into the corner of the net.
The Hoops needed a goal and when Sullivan laid the ball off to Ronan Finn at the edge of the box he could only shoot over the bar. Good play from McCabe and Finn won a corner on 68 minutes but the Ekranas defence held firm. Substitute Chris Turner attacked the box on 70 minutes but he dragged his shot across goal.
There was hope for Rovers when Dennehy did well to cross from the left on 74 minutes and Gary Twigg attacked the ball but although he made contact he could only guide his effort over the bar. As the Hoops pushed forward it left gaps at the back and Ekranas exploited this on 76 minutes when Lukša found himself behind the defence with only the Hoops 'keeper to beat but Oscar Jansson did magnificently to get down to save at his feet.
Rovers other two substitutes Kavanagh and Kilduff created a half-chance on 79 minutes when Kavanagh got past the right-full back to cross from the bye-line but the ball rebounded off Kilduff and away to safety. With 5 minutes remaining it needed another good blocking save from Jansson to deny substitute Umeh and two minutes later the Hoops 'keeper again saved this time from Lukša as Rovers when Turner lost possession in midfield.
Although Rovers got the ball into the home box on a number of occassions 'keeper Zubas was on-hand to claim the ball and snuff out the danger. With a minute remaining Kilduff took McCabes pass but shot across goal from the right.
[GOAL 2:1 - 90th + 2 min.] A Pat Sullivan long throw-in was handled inside the area and Gary McCabe stepped up to coolly send Zubas the wrong way and give the Hoops some faint hope.
There was one last gasp chance for Rovers in the last minute of added-on time when McCabes free-kick into the box saw Craig Sives at the back post get his head to the ball but he couldn't get his header on target.