Ryan McBride said it had been an honour to play for Derry City in front of such a passionate Brandywell crowd despite the disappointment of crashing out of the Europa League against Trabzonspor.
McBride came off the pitch to a standing ovation late in the second half as the Candy Stripes’ European adventure came crashing to an end after a devastating second half display from the Turkish giants. Brazilian striker, Paulo Henrique’s second half brace crushed the slim hopes of Declan Devine’s brave troops before substitute, Abdulkadir Ozdemir added a third on 90 minutes. Despite the result, McBride said Derry can be proud of their efforts over the two legs.
“We are obvioulsy disappointed with the result because we felt we played some decent football at times, especially in the first half,” revealed the Derry defender.
“Despite the result, it was still an hounour to play for Derry in front of that crowd in a big European game. Yes, it was nice to come off to that ovation but a bit strange as well beacuse we lost the game. We did well for parts but but obviously they showed their quality in the second half. Now we have to recover quickly from this because our focus is already on Limerick in the league on Sunday.”
City did have their chances as Ruaidhri Higgins and Barry McNamee both came close but, in the end, the Turkish club were a class above.
The League of Ireland are now without a representative in Europe this season after City’s exit but Devine has no time to dwell on the defeat as he takes his side to Limerick to resume their Premier Division campaign.
Devine made one change from the team started in Trabzon as McBride came in to replace Barry McNamee in midfield and during the first half it proved a masterstroke as he frustrated the visiting midfield.
In fact the ‘Candy Stripes’ threatened as early as the sixth minute when Barry Molly threaded a neat pass into the path of McBride who crossed towards the six yard box. And when Trabzonspor keeper, Onur Kivrak got his fingertips to the ball at full stretch, central defender, Celustka came to his rescue.
Derry’s best chance of the half arrived on 32 minutes when Patrick McEleney played Osbourne into space with a clever back-heel. The Derry left-back crossed towards the near post where Ruaidhri Higgins’ downward header was almost spilled at the feet of McDaid but Kivak gathered at the second attempt.
The Turks were becoming increasingly frustrated but they almost went into the interval with an away goal. Volkan Sen was sent clean through on goal and when his shot was met by an outstanding save from Doherty, it was trickling dangerously towards goal before Madden cleared off the line.
Trabzonspor boss, Mustafa Resit Akcay made two changes during the break, one enforced as centre half Kacar sustained a head injury after a clash of heads with McBride.
Ruaidhri Higgins almost found the net with a looping, back post header from Paddy Kavanagh’s corner 10 minutes after the restart but Kivrak tipped it over the crossbar. And then came that sucker punch as Adin’s pass was steered into the path of Henrique by the outstretched leg of Shane McEleney and the striker slotted past Doherty from 10 yards..
Higgins came close to leveling the scoreline on the night when his curling free-kick shaved the far post on 77 minutes before McNamee’s left-foot volley was cleared off the line.
Trabzonspor broke with pace after that attack and Volkan Sen found Henrique with a pin-point cross and the Brazilian delivered a crushing blow with an expertly taken finish. And substitute, Ozdemir added a third for the Turkish club on the stroke of full-time with a long range strike which nestled into the back of the Derry net.
Derry City - G. Doherty; S. Madden, S. Greacen, S. McEleney, E. Osborne; P. Kavanagh (M. Duffy 72mins), R. McBride (S. Houston 78mins) B. Molloy, R. Higgins, P. McEleney (B. McNamee 63mins); D. McDaid; Subs Not USed - E. Ferry, M. Griffin, M. Rafter.
Trabzonspor - O. Kivrak; Z. Yavru, M. Yumlu, G Kacar (A. Demir H-T), O. Celustka; V. Sen, A. Akgun, G. Colman (A. Ozdemir H-T), O. Adin; P. Henrique, A. Mierzejewski (S. Aydogdu 83mins); Subs Not Used – E. Gural, A. Da Costa, Y. Erdogan, Z. Ayvaz.
Referee - Michael Lerjeus (Sweden)