Sam McKeever reports from Tallaght Stadium
Shamrock Rovers are left with it all to do in Stockholm next Thursday as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night in a tightly-contested game.
Wing-back Daniel Sundgren scored the game's only goal 16 minutes from time, in the process becoming the first player to score a senior goal against the Hoops' 16-year-old keeper Gavin Bazunu.
Rovers started off the game brightly in the opening ten minutes. Good work down the right between Boyle and Coustrain found an opening into the box.
A wild clearance by Robin Jansson deflected off Boyle which landed then to Dan Carr in a fantastic position but the linesman judged him to be offside.
Rovers had the next sighter on goal as a free kick, which was dealt with by the AIK defence, was cleared only as far as Dylan Watts.
The former Bohs man hit a rasping volley from the edge of the box, but it was straight down the throat of Oscar Linner.
There were few clear-cut opportunities for either side in the first half, with the first real shot on goal only coming with five minutes to go in the half.
Ahmed Yasin picked the ball up on the right hand side before cutting inside to strike. His left-footed shot may have only hit the side netting but it had Bazunu scrambling down to his near post.
AIK then carved out the next chance. Ex-Ireland international Joey O’Brien lost the ball cheaply to Kristoffer Olsson.
Olsson proceeded to pick out Henok Goitom with a fantastic through-ball, but the striker lacked the killer finish as he scooped the ball over the Rovers crossbar.
Debutant Watts was again involved early in the second half as skipper Ronan Finn did well to break down the right hand side and pick out Watts, but the former Bohemians player’s shot was deflecting over the bar.
Minutes later Watts almost had a stroke of luck that could of given the Hoops a vital lead. A shot from the midfielder looked easy to deal for Oscar Linner but he misread and spilled it before recovering well.
Yasin was once again involved in an attacking sense for AIK and he had a decent chance to grab the vital away goal for the Swedish side.
A cross from the left Per Karlsson was headed into the path of Yasin, whose volley was low and powerful towards the bottom corner, but the young Bazunu was once again equal to the task and got down well to push it away.
In a game which was tight throughout it took a decent bit of play to break the deadlock. The ball was played into the feet of skipper Henok Goitom, whose first-time past found Tarik Elyounoussi in acres of space.
Elyounoussi had plenty of time to pick out the run of Sundgren, who a shot low into the corner past Bazunu, giving the Swedes a vital away goal to take back to Stockholm.
Shamrock Rovers: Gavin Bazunu; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Joey O’Brien (Roberto Lopes 83), Sean Kavanagh; Greg Bolger (Aaron Bolger 77), Sam Bone, Ronan Finn; Joel Coustrain, Dylan Watts, Daniel Carr (Aaron Greene 75).
Subs not used: Alan Mannus, David McAlister, Brandon Kavanagh, Luke Byrne.
Booked: Dylan Watts (22).
AIK: Oscar Linner; Par Klarsson, Aleksander Milosevic, Robin Jansson; Haukur Heidar Hauksson, Kristoffer Olsson Enoch Kofi Adu, Ahmed Yasin (Denni Advic 78), Daniel Sundgren; Tarik Elyounoussi (Stefan Silva 90+1), Henok Goitom.
Subs not used: Nicolas Stefanelli, Niclas Persson Persson, Budimir Janosevic, Bilal Hussein,
Booked: Olsson (67)
Referee: Alexander Harkam (Austria).
Attendance: 2,817 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Dylan Watts (Shamrock Rovers).