Two goals from an inspired Shayne Lavery helped Linfield earn one of their best ever results as they stunned FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan 3-2 in the Europa League play-off first leg.
Faycal Rherras’ goal put Qarabag ahead as the visitors dominated early on.
But goals before the break from Mark Stafford and Lavery turned the game on its head before Lavery notched an outstanding solo goal on 75 minutes.
Magaye Gueye scored an injury-time penalty for Qarabag.
The second leg takes place in Azerbaijan next Thursday.
Linfield are aiming to become the first Irish League club to qualify for the Europa League group stages and, while the conceding of a late penalty was a blow to those chances, it will not detract too much from a memorable occasion.
The home crowd had answered the club’s pre-match call to get behind the players and were in fine voice throughout, particularly in the second-half when they barely stopped singing as they sensed their team were heading towards a major result.
More to follow.
- 2StaffordBooked at 29mins
- 9CooperBooked at 54minsSubstituted forMillarat 90+1′minutes
- 14LaverySubstituted forWaterworthat 80′minutes
- 13da Silva
- 23RherrasBooked at 89mins
- 8Marcos MaderaBooked at 68mins
- 10Quintana SosaSubstituted forGueyeat 67′minutes
- 11EmreliBooked at 87mins
- 3Ferreira Silva
- Sandro Schärer
- Shots on Target