Just under a fortnight until Cliftonville’s return to action, we continue our mini series of continental anniversaries by turning the clock back nine years.
For it was on this day in 2012 that the Reds were eliminated from the Europa League when Kalmar overcame a one goal deficit to record a comfortable 4-0 win at the Guldfageln Arena in Sweden.
Leading thanks to Liam Boyce’s strike in Belfast seven days earlier, Cliftonville saw their advantage wiped out after just 10 minutes thanks to Erik Isrealsson’s opener.
Nenad Dordevic and Abiola Dauda converted to make it 3-0 before half-time and, though the Reds came agonisingly close to bagging the away goal that would have set up a tense finale, the Swedes wrapped up a 4-1 aggregate success when Etrit Berisha scored an injury-time penalty – the one and only time a goalkeeper has scored against Cliftonville on the Euro scene.
Cliftonville: Brown, McGovern, R Scannell, Caldwell, McMullan, Garrett, Donnelly, Smyth, O’Carroll, Catney, Cosgrove.
Subs: Devlin, Johnston, C Scannell (for O’Carroll), Seydak, Gormley (for Donnelly), Lynch, Boyce (for Garrett).
More recently, today also marks three years since Cliftonville were beaten 1-0 by Nordsjælland at Solitude.
The Reds produced a stirring performance but just lacked the clinical edge necessary to impact the scoresheet and went down to a first-half strike; Andreas Olsen doing the damage after 19 minutes.
Debutant Conor McMenamin and Garry Breen each went close to levelling matters for the hosts but, try as they might, Cliftonville took a single goal deficit with them into the second leg in Denmark the following week.
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, Breen, Harney, C Curran, R Curran, R Donnelly, Bagnall, Gormley, McMenamin.
Subs: Dunne, Garrett (for McMenamin), McDonald, Catney (for McGovern), Lavery, A Donnelly, McNulty.