The League of Ireland champions battled hard in their Champions League second qualifying round second leg in Norway, but were let down by poor finishingSligo Rovers could not overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit in their Uefa Champions League Second Qualifying Round second leg at the Aker Stadion in Norway, with goals in either half seeing them exit Europe with a 3-0 aggregate defeat to Tippeligaen champions Molde FK. Martin Linnes scored at the beginning of the game to hand advantage to the hosts, while Aliou Coly added a second late on.
Molde started well, threatening from the outset with Gavin Peers putting in a great tackle to deny Daniel Chima Chukwu early on. However, the hosts went ahead after just five minutes to take control of the tie. Good passing movement allowed Martin Linnes space to put the ball beyond the reach of Gary Rogers.
The goal brought Sligo to life, with David Cawley carving out two opportunities for his teammates, crossing for Kieran Djilali, whose shot was blocked, before a ball into David McMillan was well-blocked by Linnes. A couple of Sligo corners came to nothing with Joseph Ndo's delivery letting him down, while Chukwu continued to be a danger at the other end, using his pace to take him away from the Sligo defence before shooting straight at Rogers.
Alan Keane pulled off a great challenge on Chukwu to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity before the break as Molde went in with the advantage after a mostly comfortable half. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a double susbtitution at half-time which gave his side greater urgency. The hosts went close again early in the second-half as Peers was forced to put in a good block to divert Vegard Forren's shot away from the goal.
Gary Rogers was called into action again on the hour mark, keeping out Emmanuel Ekpo's shot from the edge of the area. Ian Baraclough sent on Raffaele Cretaro for the disappointing Elding, and he almost made an immediate impact beating a defender in the area before Ekpo denied him with a good challenge.
Sligo pushed men forward to find a way back into the tie, which left them exposed at the back. Rogers did well to save Aliou Coly's header, but the susbtitute had the ball in the net a minute later after another period of slick passing from the hosts. The visitors almost grabbed a late consolation, but Kieran Djilali hit his shot wide after Orjan Nyland saved from Danny North with the striker bearing down on goal.
Molde FK will now face either The New Saints or Legia Warsaw in the Third Qualifying Round, due to take place on July 30-31 and August 6-7.