Aberdeen’s run in Europe is over after a slim defeat to Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon this evening.
Whilst there was hope that Sporting’s build up to the match may have helped the Dons, due to the COVID-19 outbreak at the club, there was more than enough experience in their ranks to see this one through.
Nine players and their manager Ruben Amorim were ruled out for the match and were self-isolating.
Derek McInnes made three changes to the side that lost to Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.
Shay Logan, Tommie Hoban and Dylan McGeouch were brought into the starting eleven.
And it was early in the first half, when Tiago Tomás scored the one and only goal of the game, after he burst past Andy Considine before hitting a 12 yard drive beyond Joe Lewis.
It was an ominous sign that the Dons conceded an early goal.
However, the Dons didn’t panic, and our opening chance came in the 13th minute when Dylan McGeouch curled a shot that keeper Adan pushed over. Ash Taylor rose to meet the header but his effort went straight at the keeper.
Ryan Hedges went close after picking up a ball behind defence from Marley Watkins in the 35th minute, but he was short of connecting with the ball.
Aberdeen were close to going two behind, after Tomás was left unmarked 12 yards out, but his header went wide.
Jonny Hayes had a chance just over the hour mark, rushing down the left but he blasted his shot wide and high of goal.
Joe Lewis was quick off the mark to save from Cabral in the 77th minute.
Aberdene continued to calmly ply on and Hedges’ low drive from the edge of the penalty area was deflected off Coates and was nearly picked up by Watkins with goal in waiting.
The Dons nearly levelled in the 86th minute when Scott Wright found Hedges with a through ball, but Hedges sliced his left footed drive – it was our best opportunity of the match but it was all to no avail.
The clock ticked down with a flurry of subs from Sporting, as the Dons ended their European run for the season.
Definitely nothing to be ashamed off in this match – yes Sporting are a good team but they looked tired midway through the second half and we were unable to take the advantage.