DAVID SMITH - Friday, July 29, 2011
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby had a rough trip to Austria which likely put their Europa League hopes in danger while neither Jozy Altidire and Clint Dempsey were with their respective teams in their first-leg games.
SV Ried 2 - 0 Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson played the full 90 minutes in Brøndby's central defense, having a disappointing night in his first taste of Europa League action as Austrian team SV Ried cruised to a 2-0 first-leg lead.
Brøndby were on the attack from the opening whistle, with Michael Krohn-Dehli coming close in the 17th minute when his shot was miraculously blocked out for a corner by Ried keeper Thomas Gebauer.
Ried then took the lead in a somewhat unexpected matter after 32 minutes, as Florian Mader lifted a long free kick over the defense and into the left side of the net, giving his team the 1-0 advantage.
A second blow to the Brøndby psyche came just after the break, as a cross by Spaniard Iván Carril was met by the head of Daniel Royer, who put the shot on-frame for the 2-0 lead.
Knowing the tough position into which they had fallen, Brøndby pushed to salvage at least an away goal over the final half-hour, but were continually stopped by the Austrian defense who did well to maintain their shut-out.
Brøndby are in a very precarious position if they have any hope to advance to the play-off round. They must beat Ried by at least two goals in the home leg, while being careful to not concede any potentially deadly away goals.
They will host the Austrians on Thursday in Brøndby Stadium, but must first face AC Horsens on Sunday in Superliga action.
Jozy Altidore is recovering from injury and did not take the field with his new AZ Alkmaar teammates on Thursday for their 2-0 win over Czech team FK Jablonec.
Clint Dempsey did not travel with Fulham to Croatia as they drew even with RNK Split in their scoreless first leg.