As European Club competitions prepare to resume across the UEFA platform, our latest continental anniversary takes us back a decade to a night when Cliftonville came painstakingly close to claiming a notable victory.
For today marks 10 years since the Reds suffered late defeat to CSKA Sofia in the decisive leg of the sides’ Europa League Third Qualifying Round clash.
Trailing 3-0 from the opening encounter in Bulgaria the week before, Cliftonville took a 42nd minute lead at Windsor Park thanks to a cool finish from Liam Boyce.
Though the Reds stood little chance of overturning the aggregate deficit, they remained on course for a famous win on the night even after Ciaran Donaghy’s dismissal after picking up two yellow cards in as many minutes just past the hour mark.
Five minutes from the end, however, a thunderbolt from Tomi Kostadinov drew CSKA level before Marcos Malachias took advantage of a defensive error to complete the visitors’ comeback.
Cliftonville: Connolly, R Scannell, B Holland, Donaghy, McMullan, C Scannell, Hutton, Caldwell, Boyce, Catney, O’Connor. Subs: McKane, Fleming, Smyth (for O’Connor), Patterson (for Catney), Burns.