Aug 082015

Aberdeen are out of the Europa League after a tie that demanded maximum concentration from its players, remarks Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrie2It was almost a perfect summer’s day, come kick off. Come the final whistle, however, rain was falling and somewhat appropriate to the inner tears of the Dons and the Red Army faithful.

Generally speaking, the initial stages of the game were spent somewhat sizing each other up, despite the previous leg in Kazakhstan.
Sides tend to play a different game at home, it’s often said.

Having said that, amidst this Aberdeen survived a very early scare within the first minute but keeper Danny Ward saved their blushes.

This and another fine stop arguably woke up and composed the Reds.

A mixture of Kenny McLean and Peter Pawlett in the centre of midfield; Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn on the wings; and Shaleum Logan coming forward from the back, bombarded Kairat’s defence.

Bar two chances from the feet of Hayes in the first half, any real incision was somewhat muted by an aggressive defensive display by Kairat.  They accrued five yellow cards throughout the match.

Despite this, Aberdeen more or less continued in the same attacking vein in the second half; whilst defending with discipline; mopping up, shutting down and out any pressure.

This didn’t last too long, though. Ward had to react to a close range effort and Kairat’s Gerard Gohou responded, netting the rebound.

0-1 Kairat (Gerard Gohou) after 59 minutes.

Aberdeen made their first substitution nine minutes from that goal, with Adam Rooney replacing Pawlett.

Hayes came off for Willo Flood come the 81 minute mark. Paul Quinn then came on for David Goodwillie.

Three minutes after these two changes, twenty five after going a goal down, Aberdeen hit back. McLean dived well within the box to head past the keeper, via a McGinn free kick.


Quinn, Ashton Taylor and even Ward piled forward for a corner in the dying moments of the game. The former had a fine header denied by the opposing keeper.

If they’d snatched that second goal, a further half an hour of extra time would’ve been secured. It didn’t turn out that way, though, and it’s hard to measure progress when they’ve dropped out of the competition at the same stage as they did last season.

Final score:  1-1.

(2-3 aggregate. Aberdeen are knocked out).