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Viking FK 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Viking FK 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Europa League Second Preliminary Round
Aberdeen scorers: McCrorie 44, Hedges 78.

17/09/2020 | KO: 19:45

Victory in Norway as Aberdeen progress in Europe

It was six of the best for the Dons, sealing a sixth straight win and another clean sheet to make it six hours without conceding, as they head into the next round of Europa League qualifying following a solid win in Norway.

After Saturday's 1-0 win over Kilmarnock, Derek McInnes made just the one change to his starting line up, Dylan McGeouch coming in for the injured Matty Kennedy. Bruce Anderson was the only other absentee from Saturday's matchday squad as the bench was trimmed from nine to seven substitutes.

Viking warmed up for the game with their third win in a row, 5-3 at Kristiansund, making it five games unbeaten in their domestic league, in which they are eighth. They made just the one change from that game, Bell replacing the missing Løkberg in their three man midfield, the hosts naming only six subs.

Viking made a strong start, Bytyqi putting the ball into the side netting from inside the box when given far too much time and space in the opening minute. Scott Wright was gifted a half chance in the fifth minute, Ross McCrorie's deep cross miskicked back across goal by a Viking defender, Wright's shot from close range blocked behind, the hosts looking anything but secure defensively.

Marley Watkins was just a fraction away from his first Aberdeen goal in the sixth minute, Jonny Hayes standing his cross up onto the penalty spot, Watkins' header tipped over by Austbø. McCrorie, playing wide on the right, was next to try his luck in the eighth minute, picked out by a raking pass from Lewis Ferguson, his shot from 25 yards well handled by the goalkeeper.

The Dons could have been in front on 15 minutes, Hedges powering through the middle and nudging the ball forward for Wright, through on goal, but the ball didn't seem to run as he expected, getting stuck behind him and allowing the defender to get back to impede him, Wright's low shot well saved by the goalkeeper's legs.

Andrew Considine produced some brilliant last ditch defending to deny Ibrahimaj inside the six yard box in the 20th minute, the danger starting with Berisha down the Viking left again, Considine across to smother the shot, Joe Lewis picking up the pieces. Ibrahimaj really should have scored two minutes later, a golden opportunity with a free header from eight yards out but with all the goal to aim at, he put the ball well wide.

The game continued to flow from end to end, Hedges curling a shot wide from just outside the box in the 25th minute, the mystery being just how the game was still 0-0. McGeouch was next to try his luck, coming onto a loose ball 20 yards out, his low driven shot well held by Austbø. It was then the turn of Ferguson, looking to pick up the pieces just inside the area in the 29th minute, trying to guide a shot across goal and inside the bottom corner, but he pushed his shot just wide.

Persistence from Considine set Wright on his way down the left four minutes later, Wright pulling the ball back for Watkins whose shot on the turn was competently dealt with by Austbø.

From there, the hosts enjoyed a good spell of possession, pushing the Dons back, the best chance coming after 39 minutes to De Lanlay whose shot was blocked by Tommie Hoban, a really dangerous moment as again Viking threatened down their left. Aberdeen couldn't get out of their own half for a while, Ibrahimaj getting another chance, dragging wide from just outside the penalty area.

A minute from the break though, a twice taken corner from Aberdeen grabbed them the lead, McCrorie getting onto the rebound from a blocked Wright effort, striking his shot through a ruck of players and into the bottom corner. There was a lengthy delay as the referee consulted his assistant over a possible offside decision, but in the end, the goal stood, bringing an engaging first half to the best possible end.


No changes from either side at the break but like the first half, Viking started well, a nicely worked corner routine in the first minute ending with the ball coming to Berisha ten yards out but he didn't get enough bend on the shot and put it wide, a let off for the Dons.

Watkins came close in the 51st minute, lovely composed play and then an incisive pass from Hoban setting him away, Vikstol doing well to block the shot behind. The Dons stayed on the front foot, a nice combination between Hedges and Wright giving Wright a shot at goal, again well blocked by the Viking rearguard.

Ferguson wasn't far away with a driving run and then a 25 yarder that flashed across the face of goal and only just wide in the 55th minute as the Dons started to reassert some authority. A minute later though, Viking pushed forward again and Bytyqi's first time effort was only just over the bar, albeit that Lewis had it covered as the game remained a little too open for Aberdeen's comfort.

A brilliant run from Hedges took him past two challenges and into the box, his shot palmed away by Austbø, Hayes onto the rebound only to see his shot blocked. Considine was the first name in the book in the 72nd minute for kicking the ball away, then the Dons made a double change, Funso Ojo and Shay Logan on for Wright and McGeouch.

Lewis made his first save of the night in the 73rd minute, down to his right when unsighted to push the ball away from a De Lanlay shot, Bytyqi onto the rebound but putting it over. Viking made their own double change in the 76th minute, Høiland on for Vevantne, Andresson off as well for Bjørshol as Viking rolled the dice.

It didn't work, for in the 78th minute, Aberdeen were two up and on the way to Lisbon. Out on the right, Hedges curled a corner over the goalkeeper and directly into the far corner, a lovely goal that, admittedly, Austbø won't be putting on his showreel, flapping wildly at it as it sailed over him.

Østensen was the last change for the home side with six minutes left, De Lanlay making way, despite looking Viking's biggest threat in the second half. Viking's frustration showed moments later as Ibrahimaj thrashed a shot into the stands from fully 40 yards out.

The Don made their last change as we headed into added time, Watkins replaced by Curtis Main, Bjørshol coming close moments later, putting a snapshot from a corner wide of goal, summing up Viking's attacking play on the evening.

It would have been no more than a consolation anyway, the whistle blowing seconds later, Aberdeen coming through yet another test this season.

Viking FK Teamsheet
Austba, Vavante (Hoiland 75), Hegghelm, Andresson (Bjorshol 75), Vikstol, Ibtahimaj, Bell, Torsteinbo, de Lanlay (Ostensen 85), Berisha, Bytyqi

Unused Substitutes: Crowe, Sebulonsen, de Souza
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Hoban, McKenna, Considine, Hayes, McCrorie, Ferguson, McGeouch (Logan 72), Wright (Ojo 72), Hedges, Watkins (Main 91).

Unused Subs: Cerny, Taylor, McLennan, McGinn.

Bookings:  Considine (72).
Venue: Viking Stadion, Stavanger
Referee: Filip Glova, Slovakia
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride