Zorya Luhansk succumbed to the pressure of RCD Espanyol in the first game of the UEFA Europa League qualification playoffs. The match took place in at RCDE Stadium in Barcelona Thursday night.
Viktor Skrypnyk's men did not go down without a fight, once again showing it is quite capable of surprising any opponent, even a more skillful and experienced one. Espanyol lost the first goal in the game; a fair shot by Vladyslav Kochergin ended the counterattack of the Ukrainian team.
Zorya managed to keep the score this way until the second half. However, the home team recovered and speeded up, making it more difficult for the guests to keep the ball. Facundo Ferreira made the odds even with a header; soon after that, Zorya fouled in their penalty area, and a referee gave away a spot kick. Esteban Granero failed to beat Zorya's goalkeeper Mykyta Shevchenko.
Just a couple of minutes after that, Javi Lopez scored for Espanyol, making it 2-1. Eventually, Matias Vargas scored one more goal, sealing the victory for his team.
Zorya will need all of its skills, luck and a lot of home stadium's support in the return leg that is scheduled for the next week. It will take place in Zaporizhya.