Erling Braut Haaland ends Hibernian’s Europa League run

Hibernian came unstuck against Molde as young sensation Erling Braut Haaland sent Neil Lennon’s side crashing out of the Europa League.

The son of former Leeds player Alf-Inge Haaland missed the goalless first leg in the third qualifying round to hold talks with Salzburg, but the 18-year-old returned with a vengeance to score twice and set up another as Hibs lost 3-0 in Norway.

Haaland, who has been watched by Manchester United, headed home from close range in the 35th minute after Efe Ambrose had been caught underneath a deep free-kick.

He then set up Fredrik Aursnes to net in the 66th minute and completed the 3-0 aggregate win with another close-range finish with eight minutes left after Jamie Maclaren had been denied by a post for the visitors.

Hibs were ultimately outclassed by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s slick outfit, who looked a completely different side from the one which toiled in Edinburgh seven days previously.

Molde will take their place in the play-off round, while Lennon’s men will turn their attention to domestic matters, starting with the visit of Ross County on Sunday.

Hibs were roared on by around 600 travelling fans, but they almost fell behind when Haaland was afforded far too much room in the box to meet a Pawel Cibicki cross, only to skew his header wide.

Cibicki, who was in the Malmo side that hammered Hibs 7-0 at Easter Road in this competition in 2013, then fizzed a drive over the bar.

However, the hosts were a constant threat and took the lead when Haaland made amends for his earlier miss, nodding home from close-range after Ruben Gabrielsen headed an Aursnes free-kick across the face of goal.

Much like in the first leg when he struck the crossbar, Hibs’ Stevie Mallan was proving a threat from distance, twice forcing saves from Andreas Linde.

A bright start to the second period saw Martin Boyle come close to restoring parity when he met a Maclaren delivery at the far post, however the angle proved to tight for the winger.

And they were made to pay when Molde doubled their lead, with Haaland latching on to a hopeful through-ball and squaring for Aursnes to roll into an empty net.

Maclaren struck a post with a header after meeting a Lewis Stevenson cut-back as Hibs tried to keep their dream alive.

But it would be the hosts who rippled the net once more as Haaland slammed his second of the night beyond Adam Bogdan after an Eirik Hestad shot had deflected into his path

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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