Aberdeen’s Europa League campaign was ended by Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon.
Tiago Tomas’ seventh minute goal was the difference between the sides as the Portuguese side secured a play-off round meeting with LASK next week.
For the Dons, a case of what might have been as they head home with the plaudits but not the progress they craved in Portugal.
Dons boss Derek McInnes made three changes to the side which lost 3-0 to Motherwell at Pittodrie on Sunday. Scott Wright, Funso Ojo and Niall McGinn dropped to the bench with Shay Logan, Tommie Hoban and Dylan McGeouch coming into the starting line-up.
Aberdeen shipped three goals to Well inside the opening 21 minutes at Pittodrie on Sunday and the last thing they needed was to concede another early goal but that is exactly what transpired as Sporting opened the scoring with their first attack in the seventh minute.
Ross McCrorie lost the ball to striker Vietto and the Argentine forward had space to slot the ball through to Tiago Tomas who beat Joe Lewis.
Aberdeen responded well to the loss of the early goal and troubled the Portuguese side at times but could not seriously test Antonio Adan, the Sporting goalkeeper.
Ryan Hedges just failed to connect with a Marley Watkins cross while Ash Taylor failed to get enough power on his header.
For all the visitors’ pressure, however, Sporting threatened to score a second in the closing minutes of the first half and it required a fine block from captain Joe Lewis to deny Jovane Cabral from doubling his side’s lead.
The second half provided few chances of note.
Tomas headed over before Lewis saved at the feet of Cabral in what were Sporting’s best chances of the second half while Hedges fired wide with Aberdeen’s best chance.
But it is Sporting who go through to the play-off round.