Aberdeen have almost sealed their place in the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League after a pleasingly comfortable win over Hacken.
Lewis Ferguson’s brace, after an Andy Considine header, gave the Scottish Premiership side a commanding lead.
And although Alexander Jeremejeff pulled one back, Christian Ramirez’s debut goal and Connor McLennan’s fifth gave Stephen Glass’ side a fine win.
They are now set to face Austria Vienna or Breidablik in the next round.
Those sides drew 1-1 in Vienna in their first leg and will play their return next Thursday, while Aberdeen are in Gothenburg for what should surely be a straightforward return match.
It is a city with fond memories for the Aberdeen fans after their 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup win there, but this tie was one that seemed full of foreboding.
The Swedes are 11 games into their season and initially looked more energetic than their hosts, who have only played a couple of pre-season friendlies.
But Glass’ side grew into the match. Ferguson fired high and wide, before Considine stepped up to meet Calvin Ramsey’s corner before celebrating with a section of the 5,655 returning fans at Pittodrie.
After that, Aberdeen were relentless. Ferguson’s second attempt of the game struck the woodwork but he would not be denied a third time. Ryan Hedges was fouled, and Ferguson went low into the net with the penalty.
Funso Ojo had two chances before the second goal and Ramirez should have netted with a free-header. Glass’ team could have been three or four goals ahead at half-time, taking full control of the tie.
Hacken had dropped out of the game and Aberdeen made sure to make their momentum count. Ferguson looked like he might have almost put the tie beyond doubt by finding space 25 yards from goal and – under no pressure – blasting low into the net.
It was no more than Aberdeen deserved but the Swedes pulled one back, Jeremejeff doing well to cut inside and beat Joe Lewis. But with the away goal rule scrapped this season, it appears unlikely to have any meaningful impact on the tie.
Ramirez and McLennan all but put the contest beyond Hacken in the late stages. The American striker netted a tap-in for his first Aberdeen goal, then McLennan’s stoppage-time strike capped off a terrific performance.
- 22RamsaySubstituted forGurrat 77′minutes
- 4ConsidineBooked at 6mins
- 17HayesSubstituted forMcLennanat 76′minutes
- 16OjoSubstituted forMacKenzieat 66′minutes
- 9RamírezSubstituted forJenksat 90+6′minutes
- 23WalemarkSubstituted forMilovanovicat 83′minutesBooked at 87mins
- 8FribergSubstituted forFaltsetasat 55′minutes
- 7BengtssonSubstituted forHeintzat 45′minutes
- 20YoussefSubstituted forMaaroufat 55′minutes
- José Luis Munuera Montero