St Johnstone beaten 4-2 by Galatasaray in Europa League qualifier

Callum Davidson's side were beaten 5-3 on aggregate by the Turkish giants.

St Johnstone beaten 4-2 by Galatasaray in Europa League qualifier SNS Group

St Johnstone have lost to Galatasaray in their Europa League qualifying tie, beaten 4-2 in Perth to lose 5-3 on aggregate.

After holding the Turkish giants away from home in the first leg, St Johnstone had hopes of causing an upset in front of a sell-out crowd at McDiarmid Park.

The cup double winners started well in Perth and restricted their high-profile opposition in the early stages but fell behind after 29 minutes when Mbaye Diagne raced on to Kerem Akturkoglu’s through ball before slipping a shot past Zander Clark.

Saints bounced back quickly and scored their equaliser seven minutes later. A set piece opportunity saw the ball swung into the box and Chris Kane did enough to force Galatasaray goalkeeper Ismael Cipe to fumble the ball into his own net.

With the score level at half-time, Galatasaray stepped up a level after the break but found St Johnstone hard to break down. A slick passing move just after the hour mark opened up the back line and Akturkoglu controlled a flicked pass from Arda Turan before finishing neatly.

St Johnstone’s hopes were hit further when Galatasaray scored a third six minutes later. Sofian Feghouli was the scorer, hitting a low shot into the corner that Clark couldn’t reach.

A fourth came in the dying minutes when a mazy run from Ryan Babel led to a loose ball in the box being smashed in by Emre Kilinc.

But there was a late consolation for the hosts when Michael O’Halloran pulled a goal back with seconds left on the clock.

Callum Davidson’s side now drop into the play-off round of the new Europa Conference League, where they will face Serbia’s FK Vojvodina or Austrian side LASK.

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