Football: Pittodrie falls to the curse of Brondby

Aberdeen 0 Brondby 2
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The Independent Online
Brondby is becoming a dirty word for British teams in Europe. Last year the Danes sent Liverpool crashing out of the Uefa Cup when they did the unthinkable - won at Anfield. This year Aberdeen look to be going the same way after losing the first leg of their second round match at Pittodrie last night.

It was always going to be a difficult night against the Danish champions and the former Arsenal midfielder John Jensen predicted his side would go through if they could withstand a blistering opening half hour. He was proved right. Aberdeen served up a performance of pace and passion but it simply was not good enough against a side of superior skill and technique.

In the 33rd minute Tzanko Tzvetanov burst forward to pick out Billy Dodds with a delightful diagonal ball, which Britain's top scorer met fully on the volley forcing Mogens Krogh to save. Scott Booth, after two months out with a knee injury, came on for his first competitive appearance of the season after half an hour in place of Darren Young, but had little chance to impress. On the stroke of half-time the visitors broke the deadlock following a free-kick from Kim Daugaard. Kim Vilfort headed to the back post where Ebby Sand deflected the ball in.

Aberdeen mounted a wave of second-half attacks but just could not find the opening. Brian Irvine hit the crossbar and minutes later had to watch Krogh make a wonderful save. Aberdeen's misery was complete when Bo Hansen rounded Nicky Walker with a minute left.

Roy Aitken, the Aberdeen manager, felt his side were down on their luck and refused to accept that the tie was over. "It was very disappointing to be hit with two sucker-punch goals in the last minute of both halves. There's a lot can still happen in football and we will be making the maximum effort to rescue the tie," he said.

Aberdeen: Walker; McKimmie, Tzvetanov, Rowson, Irvine, Inglis, Miller, Dodds, Windass, Kiriakov (Shearer, 72), Young (Booth, 30). Substitutes not used: Watt, Woodthorpe, Craig.

Brondby: Krogh; Nielsen, Ravn (Thogersen, 24), Daugaard, Moller (Hansen, 80), Vilfort, Sand, Colding, Eggen, Jensen, Skarballius. Substitutes not used: Olsen, Andersen, Bjerregaard.

Referee: M Beusan (Croatia).