THE New Saints face a serious threat to their 2022/23 European ambitions with a three-goal swing needed to advance to the UEFA Conference League third qualifying round after defeat in Iceland.

Two penalties from Víkingur Reykjavík's main man Kristall Máni Ingason in each half were enough to give the Icelandic champions a 2-0 win on a tough night for Anthony Limbrick's men.

The Welsh champions were given the runaround by a team in the middle of their domestic season and it showed as the hosts picked off the Green and Whites at regular intervals.

Saints almost grabbed an immediate lead when former Shrewsbury Town man Josh Daniels forced Ingvar Jónsson into an early recovery save following his mistake.

But from then it was almost one-way traffic as Víkingur Reykjavik continually piled forward, with each attack co-ordinated by the Icelandic international Ingason.

Connor Roberts pulled off a string of saves including a fine low stop to his right from the blonde-haired Ingason who was bamboozling new signing Josh Pask and Ryan Astles in TNS' defence.

The pressure told on 29 minutes when Leo Smith was adjudged to have fouled Ari Sigurpálsson shortly before the half-hour when he tried to tackle from the wrong side.

The hugely-impressive Ingason, who is bound for Norwegian giants Rosenborg, coolly slotted home to give the Icelandic champions a much-deserved lead.

Saints boss Limbrick was forced into a change at the break when he introduced Jordan Williams for the injured Daniel Davies and Saints showed more bite in their work.


But they were soon further behind on 57 minutes after Pask - who spent part of last season on loan at Newport County - was penalised for a foul on Ingason, although he appeared to make little contact with the player.

Ingason, who is capped by his national side, put the ball to Robert's right, going the opposite of his first penalty to double Reykavik's lead.

Declan McManus had his best opportunity 15 minutes later but he failed to connect with Ryan Brobbel's – on as a substitute – stand-up cross with his head.

Jon Routledge, a surprise omission from the TNS starting line-up, was introduced late on to help secure the Saints but they failed to create opportunities needed to halve the deficit.

Limbrick had to drag his players away from Slovakian referee Peter Kralović and they face a Herculean task at Park Hall on Tuesday.

The game, which kicks off at 6.30pm, will be live on S4C.

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