July 25, 2013
Saints stun Norwegians
St Johnstone pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the club's 128-year history by completing a remarkable 2-1 aggregate win over Rosenborg to send the Norwegian spinning out of the Europa League.
The Perth outfit stunned the 22-time Norwegian champions with Frazer Wright's winner in Trondheim and then completed the job at McDiarmid as young striker Stevie May netted a precious equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw and a safe passage to the third qualifying round.
The incredible two-leg victory is Tommy Wright's first act as new Saints boss and sets up a meeting with Beluarusians FC Minsk.
Wright had downplayed his side's chances ahead of the match but his attempts were laughed off by Rosenborg coach Per Joar Hansen as merely "mind games''.
The Perth boss had suggested that the Norwegians were favourites to go through and tried to heap pressure on the visitors by claiming that an early exit for the former Champions League quarter-finalists would be seen as a "disaster'' in their homeland.
The ploy worked a treat as St Johnstone refused to let an early strike for the visitors unsettle their hopes of progressing and worked doggedly in the closing stages to hold off a succession of Rosenborg attacks.
Alexander Soderlund was making his first start for the Norwegian champions and got off to the perfect start when he found the corner of the net after firing between Wright's legs just four minutes in.
A wayward Gary McDonald pass soon after almost had the home side undone for a second time but St Johnstone held their nerve and levelled when Rosenborg defender Mikael Dorsin paused long enough to allow May to pounce on a David Wotherspoon pass and prod past goalkeeper Daniel Orlund.
Nigel Hasselbaink could have made the final stages a lot more comfortable had he taken a decent opening on 33 minutes.
But after putting that effort wide, St Johnstone had to rely on their own shot-stopper, as Alan Mannus turned away second-half attempts by Nicki Nielsen and Borek Dockal to confirm the win.
|Steve May (21')||Alexander Soderlund (4')|
|1 Alan Mannus||1 Daniel Orlund|
|2 Dave MacKay||3 Mikael Dorsin|
|5 Frazer Wright||5 Per Verner Ronning|
|6 Steven Anderson||4 Tore Reginiussen|
|3 Thomas Scobbie||2 Cristian Gamboa|
|8 Gary McDonald||7 Mike Jensen|
|17 Steve May||22 Jonas Svensson|
|4 Patrick Cregg||18 Daniel Berntsen|
|10 David Wotherspoon||9 Nickie Nielsen|
|9 Steven MacLean||11 Tobias Mikkelsen|
|11 Nigel Hasselbaink||15 Alexander Soderlund|
|15 Steve Banks||Alexander Lund Hansen 12|
|24 Brian Easton||Jon Inge Hoiland 14|
|19 Gary Miller||Brede Moe 19|
|16 Liam Caddis||John Chibuike 10|
|14 Gwion Edwards||Borek Dockal 8|
|27 Rory Fallon||O. Selnaes 20|
|31 Dylan Easton||Alexander Sorloth 37|
|Gwion Edwards for Nigel Hasselbaink (64)||Jon Inge Hoiland for Per Verner Ronning (23)|
|Gary Miller for Steven Anderson (78)||Borek Dockal for Tobias Mikkelsen (59)|
|Rory Fallon for Steve May (78)||John Chibuike for Daniel Berntsen (75)|
|Rory Fallon (90)||Nickie Nielsen (73)|
|Frazer Wright (90)||Daniel Berntsen (74)|
|Tore Reginiussen (84)|
|· Squads: St Johnstone | Rosenborg|