Midtjylland hold Saints at St Mary’s

Danish outfit Midtjylland held Southampton to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday and hold the advantage on aggregate ahead of the second-leg in their UEFA Europa League qualifying play-off.

Southampton 1 Midtjylland 1

Midtjylland grab shock opener

Rodriguez nets equaliser from the spot

Yoshida hits the woodwork late on

Saints have to score in the second-leg

Match Summary 

The vistors took the lead shortly before half-time through an excellnt strike by former Southampton man Tim Sparv who produced a moment of magic with an unstoppable strike from 25 yards out.

Their lead didn't last long as Jay Rodriguez netted the equaliser from the penlaty spot after James Ward-Prowse was brought down carlessly by Kian Hansen in the area eight minutes later.

The Saints put the visitors under some significant pressure late on and came awfully close to a winner through Maya Yoshida but will now need to score at the MSH Arena in a weeks time.

 Full Report

Midtjylland started the more effective of the two sides in the opening exchanges and spent the better part of the first 10 minutes in the Saints half but were unable to capitalise on their early pressure as Maarten Stekelenberg was well placed to claim from a dangerous looking long-throw.

The visitors threatend again moments later after Southampton failed to clear a free-kick and Petter Andersson unleashed a stinging volley from the edge of the box only to watch it drift wide of the left-hand post.

Much to the Saint Mary's faithful's despair, the Danes dominated the opening half and finally got the breakthrough on the brink of half-time when former Saint Tim Sparv fired a smashing drive past Stekelenberg from well outside the box to give the visitors a shock lead.

Koeman's side began the second stanza much more positively and had the ball in the back of the net just seven minutes after the restart through a great header from Steven Caulker, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Andersson in controversial fashion.

They would draw level just two minutes later, though, as James Ward-Prowse skipped past Kian Hansen and was brought down cynically by the defender just inside the area. Jay Rodrigeuz then stepped up and coolly slotted home from the spot for his first goal in over a year.

They nearly had a second shortly after the hour mark with Ward-Prowse looking dangerous again, the 20-year-old dinking a great cross to Caulker, who's powerful header was denied by a great save from Johan Dahlin in the Midtjylland goal.

Southampton came desperately close to a winner late on as Yoshida hit the post with a great header in the sixth minute of injury time but Koeman's side now trail the Danes ahead of the second-leg.

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