DAVID SMITH - Friday, July 23, 2010
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek's European adventure came to an abrupt end on Thursday night in Belarus while Nate Weiss watched from the bench as Jelgava's rally fell just short of the mark against Molde.
Dnepr Mogilev 1 - 1 Stabæk (agg. 3-3, Mogilev adv. on away goals)
Mikkel Diskerud started and played 79 minutes in Stabaek's midfield on Thursday, drawing a yellow card in the process, however was already watching from the sidelines when an 85th-minute equalizer by Mogilev starlet Vladimir Yurchenko doomed them to return home empty-handed.
Stabaek came into the game needing to go on the offensive to counter the two away goals they conceded in last week's fiasco at home, and looked to be well on their way when the finally opened the scoring shortly before halftime.
Icelandic international Veigar Pall Gunnarsson put the visitors ahead in the 37th minute with a 17-yard shot to the upper left corner, going further to erase the memories of his two missed penalties only seven days before.
Not wanting to go out with a whimper in front of their own home crowd, Dnepr upped the pressure after the break, and consistently kept Stabaek keeper John Knudsen on his toes.
Diskerud picked up a yellow card in the 53rd minute for a hard foul on halftime substitute Igor Zenkovich, and left the game with 11 minutes remaining in regulation for Icelandic midfielder Pálmi Pálmason as coach Jan Jönsson attempted to hold onto the small lead.
With their passage into the third qualifying round only minutes away, Stabaek had their hopes crushed five minutes from full time when 21 year-old striker Vladimir Yurchenko, already responsible for three goals in the previous round, managed to lob a shot over Knudsen and into the net, giving the Belarusian team the advantage - and a date with Czec team Baník Ostrava - on away goals.
The loss allows Diskerud and his teammates to return focus back to their otherwise mediocre league campaign, beginning with Sunday's home showdown against leaders Rosenborg.
Nate Weiss was an unused substitute for Jelgava as their 2-1 win at home over Molde saw them fall out of the competition on away goals.