Tuesday 11 December 2018

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Daunting task as City head to Warsaw

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018 4:54pm

Cork City FC will head to Warsaw next weekend looking to overcome a 1-0 defeat suffered at Turner's Cross in the first leg of the Champion's League qualifiers on Tuesday night.

Legia Warsaw arrived on Leeside shorn of a number of their best players including Croatian international midfielder Domagoj Antolic, captain Miroslav Radovic and defenders Michal Pazdan and Artur Jedrzejczyk who were involved in Poland's dismal World Cup campaign, which gave City a small boost ahead of the clash given the strength of the opposition they faced.

It was the first Champion's League game at Turner's Cross in 12 years following last season's qualification with just under 6,000 fans packed in to the stadium for the clash. However next week is set to be a slightly more daunting affair, Legia Warsaw play their games in the 31,000 capacity Polish Army Stadium.

Ahead of Tuesday's game, manager John Caulfield made four changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Shamrock Rovers last Friday; goalkeeper Mark McNulty was forced to drop out after suffering an ankle injury in the closing stages of the Rovers draw, with former Dundalk FC keeper Peter Cherrie between the posts in his place. The 34 year old Scot joined the club in January from Bray Wanderers and already had European experience previously, playing against Hadjuk Split in July 2014 for Dundalk.

Meanwhile Damien Delaney made his first competitive start for the club after recently signing from Crystal palace - he started in place of Alan Bennett who dropped to the bench, while Barry McNamee and Jimmy Keohane both started with Graham Cummins and Kieran Sadlier named as substitutes instead.

The Polish side, despite missing a number of key players, had five internationals in their starting lineup but they faced an uncomfortable start to the game with City putting them under pressure from the off.

Despite a commendable first 45 minutes, it looked as if City would walk away with at least a draw before Michal Kucharczyk struck for a brilliant goal in the 79th minute to give the Polish side the win and the upper hand in the tie ahead of next Tuesday's trip to Warsaw.

Ahead of that clash Cork City will welcome Premier League side Burnley FC to Turner's Cross on Friday night for a friendly. Kick-off in that game is at 7pm while kick-off in next Tuesday's second leg against Legia Warsaw is at 8pm Irish time.

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