Daniel Chima Chukwu scored the only goal of the game as the Bit o' Red failed to create enough chances in a close game at the ShowgroundsThe first ever Uefa Champions League match at the Showgrounds saw Sligo Rovers suffer a narrow defeat to Norwegian champions Molde FK, despite putting in a dogged display. Nigerian striker Daniel Chima Chukwu scored the only goal of the game to give Molde the advantage after the first leg.
Hoping for their first European win since 1994, the Bit o' Red held the ball well in the opening few minutes, with Lee Lynch being given space out wide. However, his cross from the right evaded Anthony Elding after good work in the middle from David McMillan.
Mistakes from the home players gifted possession to the opposition, and Rovers fans were relieved when Emmanuel Ekpo failed to capitalise on a mistake from Joseph Ndo. A quick counter-attack produced a great chance for David McMillan, but the new signing was denied by Ordan Nyland.
Gary Rogers was called into action for the first time midway through the half, blocking Aliou Coly's shot with his feet. A free-kick in a dangerous position saw Ross Gaynor deliver a good ball in, but Evan McMillan couldn't get his head on it. At the other end, Daniel Chima Chukwu forced Rogers into another excellent save following McMillan's error as the visitors began to take control of the game.
Molde struck just before half-time with the impressive Chukwu punishing another mistake, coming inside Gavin Peers to put the ball past Rogers. Neither team made any changes at the interval, with Molde looking happy to hold onto the ball and protect their lead.
Rovers boss Ian Baraclough sent on Kieran Djilali on the hour mark, and the change spurred Sligo on. The hosts upped the tempo, and saw Ndo go close with a low shot, while Djilali caused problems out wide, putting in a dangerous ball for Lynch which required a crucial block from Agnaldo.
Despite an improved performance, the Bit o' Red couldn't create a genuine goalscoring opportunity, allowing Molde to hold onto their narrow lead ahead of the second leg at the Aker Stadion on Tuesday, July 23.