McInnes bemoans late goal for Finns

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admits his side have it all to do after the loss of a stoppage-time goal turned what should have been a comfortable Europa League lead over RoPS Rovaniemi into a far more fragile one.

The Dons were heading for a 2-0 win in the first leg of the first qualifying round after goals from Niall McGinn and Sam Cosgrove either side of half-time.

With more sharpness they could have had a more emphatic win but they lost a poor away goal with almost the last kick of the game as Tommi Jantti netted for the Finns.

McInnes said: “You kind of dwell on that at the end of it, because I should be coming in here talking about how it was such an assured performance at this stage of the season against a side who are 15 or 16 games into theirs.

“Our energy levels, our fitness, our intensity were really good. Our supporters got a flavour of one or two of our new signings and the speed we want to play at.

“I thought we were the better team and should be scoring two or three more goals, but at this stage of the season that last wee bit of polish is what you can be missing.

“I think going forward, and even for having the game, we’ll be in a better position to take those – and then the goal we lose might not be deemed such a body-blow.”

McInnes, who signed a two-year contract extension before the game, added: “I always felt we needed to bring good performances over two games, but if we’d taken our chances we might have got it wrapped up.

“We’ve got it all to do in Finland, but if we can bring the same level of performance, then I’m confident we can get ourselves through the tie.”

Paso Tuutti, the RoPS Rovaniemi coach, added: “We are still in it. The youngsters did what I asked of them – they fought well. To be honest Aberdeen were the far better team, and they created so many chances. Antonio Reguero was marvellous – he saved us.

“We will carry the fight – every game is unique. I don’t think we were the best team, but I think we have a chance next week.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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