Aberdeen fans throw snowballs at opposition goalkeeper forcing game to stop

Aberdeen’s Europa Conference League tie away at HJK Helsinki had to be stopped after the rowdy Scottish fans began pelting Helsinki’s goalkeeper with snowballs. 1,500 Aberdeen fans descended on the Finnish capital for their group stage clash in frosty conditions. 

Finnish shot-stopper Niki Maenpaa had snow chucked at him by the away supporters while he attempted to take a goal kick, prompting the referee to call a halt to proceedings. Aberdeen players were seen pleading with their fans to stop as the referee jogged over to the sidelines to consult his colleagues. 

After nearly two minutes of Maenpaa being bombarded with snow, the Scots eventually stopped and the game resumed. At the time, Aberdeen were 2-1 down but they pegged back an equaliser courtesy of Duk to ensure they didn’t go home empty-handed.

However, the point had little impact on their progression in the competition. Both sides had already been eliminated before the Group G tie commenced. All that was left to fight for was pride.

But visiting manager Barry Robson hasn’t given up hope for European nights ahead. “We’ve scored 11 goals in Europe, and that’s against Swedish champions Hacken, Europa [League] champions [in 2022] Frankfurt, PAOK and the Finnish champions,” said Robson.

“That, for me, is probably a bit too aggressive in Europe because we’ve lost a few goals at the back end. We really want to be that way and we wanted to score goals. Our biggest learning curve is how do you get the balance right when you go into Europe again, whenever that is. We hope it’s next year.”

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Aberdeen defender Angus MacDonald said of the game: “We probably showed them too much respect first 20 minutes. But as soon as the goal went in everything started to change. We’ll look back and kick ourselves we should’ve taken more from both games and should have been qualifying.”

Meanwhile, Helsinki boss Toni Korkeakunnas added:  “I am very very proud of the boys, the way they came to their game and like I said, the first half we played our brilliant football at times and I am very very proud and pleased, and I couldn’t ask for any more from the boys.”

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