Aberdeen’s bid to reach the Europa League group stage was ended by a ruthless BK Hacken at a packed Pittodrie.
Barry Robson’s side have the consolation of a place in the groups of the Europa Conference League, but it was a disappointing night for the Dons.
Ibrahim Sadiq, in his last appearance for the Swedes before completing a £3.5million move to AZ Alkmaar, made the difference with a first-half brace to put Hacken 2-0 up at half-time.
A Bojan Miovski penalty had the Dons fans dreaming of another comeback against the Allsvenskan outfit, but an Amor Layouni penalty following a foul by Slobodan Rubezic on Sadiq ensured it will be Hacken who are playing in the Europa League this season.
The Dons fans admitted their side were second best on an eventful evening at Pittodrie.
John Moar wrote: “Sadiq was the difference, took his goals well and the difference was 1-0 down Duk has to take his one-on-one and in the second half at 2-1 down how has Miovski missed that? Morris poor and the subs poor for me.”
Kevin Tarras wrote: “Beat by a better team. Aberdeen failed on missed opportunities. Onwards and upwards.”
Tom Gibson said: “Architects of our own downfall again. They were there for the taking tonight but with that defending, we’ll not win anything. Robson needs to sort his tactics out and sharp.”
Craig Sweetin felt the Dons could have no complaints after a below-par display, saying: “Abysmal. We absolutely got what we deserved. You can’t pass up two one-on-one chances like Duk and Miovski had at this level and expect to win.”
Kevin Main: Don’t take your chances you don’t win games simple and that’s what happened tonight.”
Defensive tactics questioned
James McGarry was one of the Aberdeen players who emerged with credit after an impressive display, particularly in the first half.
Lee Sutherland wrote: “Shocking decision to take McGarry off! At least swap him for Hayes not Duncan!”
Duncan Bain was unhappy with the tactics deployed by manager Barry Robson.
He wrote: “That was very very disappointing! Three at the back is no use!”
Matt Wilson added: “Not sure about the tactics, but difference was one very good player. At least McGarry, McGrath and Jensen look useful.”
Conference League could be a blessing in disguise
It has proven to be a disappointing week for Scottish clubs in Europe with the Dons, Rangers, Hibernian and Hearts all losing their respective European ties – and with heavy defeats.
Rangers went down 7-3 on aggregate against PSV Eindhoven, Hibernian lost 8-0 over two legs against Aston Villa and Hearts were knocked out of the Europa Conference League by PAOK 6-1 on aggregate.
Rory Ford wrote: “At the end of the day like Rangers last night, money might be good but Europa League clearly not our level.
“We have Morris they have Sadiq, that difference says it all. What’s more alarming is we failed to score one goal in open play in 98 minutes. Especially after two one-on-ones is frustrating. Passing still looks poor in final third not to mention decision making.”
Steven Aitkenhead agreed, adding: “Not good enough however a similar story with the rest of Scotland’s clubs in Europe this time.”
Paul ‘Dougie’ Arnott wrote: “There will be games where we’ll create one chance and win the game. Tonight we created about 10 and fluffed them all. Still got the Conference League to look forward to which realistically we will have a better chance of winning a game.”
Calum Wright added: “Thank you for saving us from the worst Europa League group stage performance in history. Conference League is where it’s at anyway.”