Report: Ryan McMullen
Stephen Bradley made 3 changes from the scoreless draw with Drogheda last Friday, with Gary O’Neill and Jack Byrne returning from injury and Ronan Finn coming back into the team replacing Darragh Nugent, Graham Burke and Conan Noonan respectively.
Breidablik started off very energetically, enjoying the majority of the possession during the opening 10 minutes and made some crosses into the box although couldn’t find a way to trouble Leon Pohls in the Rovers goal.
The first chance of the game fell to Breidablik shortly after when Klaemint Olsen found a free header off the back of a corner taken by Höskuldur Gunnlaugsson, Pohls made an impressive save to block the header before Daniel Cleary managed to clear the danger.
Rovers worked their first chance in the 13th minute, Jack Byrne received the ball in midfield and played the ball over the top to Rory Gaffney who drove forward and got a shot away forcing a save from Breidablik goalkeeper Anton Einarsson.
As the halftime break approached, Breidablik would find a breakthrough, in style. The visitors were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal, with the skipper Gunnlaugsson teeing up Muminovic whose stunning strike beat Pohls in the Rovers goal.
Halftime came and Breidablik were going in a goal to the good.
Rovers started the second half full of energy and had a penalty shout waved away from referee Chrysovalantis Theouli after Sean Kavanagh found Rory Gaffney in the box who took a shot that hit the hand of Breidablik defender Viktor Margeirsson.
Rovers looked much stronger in the second half and brought on Graham Burke as they probed for an equaliser. Burke almost made an instant impact when he had a shot that looked to be heading for the bottom right corner pushed away by Einarssion.
Rovers had most of the possession in the second half but struggled to break down the Breidablik defence.
The Hoops kept pushing for a goal their second-half play deserved and were presented with another opportunity in the 85th minute when Sean Kavanagh was played through by Jack Byrne but his right-footed effort failed to hit the target.
Late on, Kavanagh had another effort on goal when Richie Towell’s lofted cross into the box was headed into the path of Kavanagh whose first-time strike was pushed behind by Einarsson for a corner.
Unfortunately, the corner would come to nothing and Breidablik would see out the five minutes of additional time to take a narrow advantage into the return leg next week.
Tuesday 18 July, Breidablilk v Rovers, Kópavogsvöllur, 8:15pm (Irish Time), Live on LOI TV (Ireland & UK only)
Shamrock Rovers: Pohls, Cleary, Lopes, Hoare, Kavanagh, O’Neill, Poom, Watts (Burke 60), Byrne, Finn © (Towell 72), Gaffney (Kenny 87).
Shamrock Rovers unused substitutes: Mannus, Grace, Greene, Power, Cruise, Noonan, Razi.
Breidablik: Einarsson, Muminovic (Adalsteinsson 73’), Margeirsson, Gunnlaugsson ©, Yeoman, Einarsson, Sigurjonsson (Sigurðarson 73’), Eyjolfsson, Svanthorsson (Hlynsson 66’), Olsen, Steindorsson (Ingvarsson 87’)
Breidablik unused substitutes: Bragason, Ludviksson, Gunnarsson, Orrason, Stefansson.