Linfield denied European football after own goal and shootout heartache

Linfield were denied a piece of history in the cruellest fashion possible against Rigas Futbola Skola of Latvia in Europa Conference League qualifying.

David Healy’s side were on course to become the first Northern Irish team to qualify for the group stage of a European competition when Kyle McClean’s 104th-minute goal put them 3-2 up on aggregate. But in time added on in the additional period they failed to take advantage of a four-on-one break and when the opposition countered Jimmy Callacher scored an own goal to send it to a penalty shootout.

The evening ended in heartbreak for the home side as Matthew Clarke and Ethan Devine both missed from the spot to hand RFS a 4-2 shootout win.

Linfield had dominated throughout the initial 90 minutes, with Robbie McDaid and Sam Roscoe coming close in front of 4,742 fans at Windsor Park.