Hibernian suffer humiliating defeat to Andorra's Inter Club d’Escaldes

The Easter Road side lost 2-1 in the first leg of their European qualifier.

Hibernian face a tough task to progress in Europa Conference League qualifying after suffering a 2-1 loss to Inter Club d’Escaldes in the first leg of their second qualifying round.

The Premiership side were overwhelming favourites to progress but will have to overturn a one-goal deficit at Easter Road next Thursday after falling to a defeat that will go down as among the worst in the club’s European history.

Inter qualified for Europe by finishing second in Andorra’s Primera Divisió last season, losing out on the title by two points to rivals Atletic Club.

The side then defeated Vikingur over two legs in the first qualifying round to set up the clash with Hibs. However, having failed to get past this stage in the past three years, losing to Dundalk, Teuta Durrës and CFR Cluj, expectations were low.

Instead, Inter proved to be the better side over 90 minutes, exposing Hibs’ frailties in the Scottish side’s first competitive game of the season.

The hosts took a shock lead after 15 minutes. Ander El Haddadi found plenty of space to race into on the break and he looked up before playing a cross in for Adria Gallego. The captain’s first time finish was saved by David Marshall but the rebound fell for Gallego and he pounced on the opportunity to score.

Inter doubled their lead with just under 20 minutes left on the clock. El Haddadi got in behind the Hibs defence and shot at Marshall but the goalkeeper spilled the ball and Jean Luc Assoubre was left with a simple tap-in.

Hibs pulled a goal back in injury time when Joe Newell drilled in a low shot but Inter held on to their lead to deliver a bruising defeat for the Scottish side and put the pressure on Johnson and his players ahead of next week’s decisive second leg in Leith.

The winner of the tie will go on to play Djurgardens or Luzern in the third qualifying round.

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