A courageous and passionate performance from Derry City against Turkish Süper Lig side, Trabzonspor last night, imbued manager, Declan Devine, with pride after the game.
The Candy Stripes lost 4-2 in Trabzon last Thursday but any dream of progressing to the next round of the UEFA Europa League well and truly vanished when Brazilian born striker, Henrique, scored the first of the Turks’ three goals in the 56th minute.
Henrique went on to net another goal in the 82nd minute and second half substitute Abdülkadir Özdemir made it three in injury time.
Derry had their chances too.
Ruaidhri Higgins, who along with team mate Ryan McBride, was immense against the Turkish giants, went close to finding the net with a header on goal in both halves.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ after the game, manager Devine praised his players for their effort and said that their attention must now turn to Sunday’s Airtricity League Premier Division game with Limerick FC in Thomand Park.
“I don’t feel they [Trabzonspor] were three goals better than us tonight but if you make the slightest mistake at this level you’ll get punished.
“As good as it is to play against opposition like that in a competitive game we are challenging for a lot of things this year.
“If you want to be involved in big games you have to give big performances - and I felt tonight we gave a good performance,” he said.
For more reaction to Derry’s Europa League exit and for team news ahead of Sunday’s game with Limerick FC, see this weekend’s Sunday Journal.