Lincoln Red Imps failed in their attempt to reach the next round of the Champions League going 4-1 down against Kosovo’s league Champions Drita in the final of the Preliminary Round mini tournament.
Having gone 1-0 down in the first few minutes of the match after the defence were unable to clear an early corner Lincoln faced an uphill struggle in trying to reach Drita’s goal.
With the Lincoln defence vulnerable to counterattacks as Drita exposed flaws at the back Lincoln were forced to make several changes at the back which saw Mons Calpe on loan player Dos Santos filling a gap at the back.
The changes added extra strength to Lincoln as they went forward. With Drita having the advantage in height in set pieces a corner put to the near post led to Lincoln’s equaliser. Lincoln’s number 18 Valero scoring after coming on as a substitute.
Lincoln had their chances of scoring but were well held to finish the ninety minutes level. Once again the substitute, this time Falu having his chances of scoring.
Drita soon found themselves with ten men after a red card from two yellows saw one of their players leaving the pitch.
It was however, Drita who produced the best chance which saw keeper Soler beaten and Lopes clear the ball with his hand leading to his expulsion and a subsequent penalty.
With Drita converting the penalty and going 2-1 Lincoln tried to run forward but found themselves once again vulnerable at the back. Soler was forced to make several block saves on one on one attacks by Drita. The Kosovo champions nevertheless produced two more goals which takes them into the next round of the Champions League where they will face Malmo. This was Drita’s first time in the Champions League.
Lincoln will now go into the Europa League first round as losing finalist from the Preliminary round of the Champions League.