Bala Town (1) 1-0 SP Tre Fiori (3) : Lakesiders made to rue first leg mistakes

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Bala Town have been eliminated in the preliminary round of the Europa League after losing on aggregate to Tre Fiori.

Three goals in the first half hour in the first leg proved to be costly, as Bala scored too late on to mount a second leg fight back. It’s the first time in the history of football in San Marino, that a team has won a European tie. For Bala, it’s a defeat at the first hurdle for them.

The Sammarinese side will now play Slovenian side Rudar Velenje in the First Round Qualifying of the UEFA Europa League. It leaves just the Connah’s Quay Nomads and The New Saints to represent Wales in Europe after Cefn Druids were knocked out earlier.

Despite leading the leg by three goals, it was Tre Fiori with the attacking intent early on. Vassallo who scored in the first leg, put an effort just over the bar.

Mirco Vassallo carried the ball into the box and forced Ashley Morris into the save. He then was presented a chance from a tight angle, which he put just wide of the post.

Kieran Smith fed in Chris Venables and he saw his effort go just past the post.

Smith himself had the chance to score, curling his effort wide of the goal after a deflected touch. He had a penalty appeal waved away having looked to have been tripped.

In the second half, Bala were testing Tre Fiori from corners, forcing Pizzolato to punch but couldn’t find that final delivery.

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Tames introduction to the game as he replaced fellow summer signing Mangan, gave Bala a new lease of life. He saw an effort saved by the body of Pizzolato.

Bala were presented a good chance with a free-kick, but Venables curled the set-piece just over the bar.. Venables headed just wide of the goal after Sean Smith headed the ball to his direction.

The Lakesiders had their breakthrough in the 76th minute, Nathan Burke rolled the ball past Pizolato to give Bala a slight chance.

A number of Tre Fiori players began to go down as they tried to wind down the clock, much to the frustration of the Bala players.

Seven additional minutes were shown, as Bala tried to chase two goals. Tre Fiori’s gameplan was perfected, however, as they contained the Bala attack and had the ball in the areas where they wanted it.

(Featured Image: Naomi Jones of Bala Town FC)

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