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 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 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.

David Healy’s men had beaten HB Torshavn and FK Sutjeska to get to this stage, while Qarabag dropped into the after losing their qualifier to Apoel.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Linfield

  • 1Ferguson
  • 47Casement
  • 2StaffordBooked at 29mins
  • 6Callacher
  • 16Clarke
  • 22Mulgrew
  • 27Mitchell
  • 9CooperBooked at 54minsSubstituted forMillarat 90+1′minutes
  • 8Héry
  • 31Quinn
  • 14LaverySubstituted forWaterworthat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Larkin
  • 7Waterworth
  • 10Stewart
  • 12Millar
  • 17Kearns
  • 23McGivern
  • 40Moore

FK Qarabag

  • 13da Silva
  • 30Huseynov
  • 5Medvedev
  • 14Sadiqov
  • 23RherrasBooked at 89mins
  • 8Marcos MaderaBooked at 68mins
  • 2Qarayev
  • 10Quintana SosaSubstituted forGueyeat 67′minutes
  • 9Romero
  • 11EmreliBooked at 87mins
  • 17Zoubir

Substitutes

  • 3Ferreira Silva
  • 6Slavchev
  • 7Abdullayev
  • 12Mahammadaliyev
  • 18Ibrahimli
  • 21Hajiyev
  • 99Gueye
Referee:
Sandro Schärer

Match Stats

Home TeamLinfieldAway TeamFK Qarabag
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home3
Away2
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home0
Away0
Fouls
Home0
Away0

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