Howard Beverland in action with Andreas Cornelius (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/


Crusaders slipped to a three-goal defeat to Danish visitors FC København as they kicked their UEFA Champions' League campaign off at Seaview.

It took Federico Santander just six minutes to fire København in front after the Paraguayan frontman directed a strong header into the bottom corner from a Ludwig Augustinsson corner.

Then, five minutes from the break, Andreas Cornelius made it 2-0 - again with a header - when Peter Ankersen delivered the ball from the right flank.

Rasmus Falk then made it three early in the second half when he was allowed to sweep through the Crusaders defence before slotting the ball beyond Sean O'Neill.

But it wasn't all one-way traffic.

Indeed, Declan Caddell might have opened the scoring early in the game when he headed just over from a Richard Clarke free-kick.

And he came close to levelling midway through the first half but couldn't beat 'keeper Robin Olsen when a long Paul Heatley ball wasn't cleared by the Danish defence.

Stephen Baxter's side kept pushing forward even after falling behind to that third goal after the break when first Heatley and then new arrival David Cushley threatened in quick succession.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Caddell, McClean, Owens, Snoddy, Clarke, Heatley, Whyte subs Dougherty (not used), Gault (replaced Snoddy 75), Lowry (not used), Mitchell (replaced Caddell 62), Carvill (not used), Cushley (replaced Clarke 54), Forsythe (not used)

FC København: Olsen, Augustinsson, Johansson, Kvist, Delaney, Cornelius, Kusk, Santander, Ankersen, Jørgensen, Falk subs Andersen (not used), Kadrii (replaced Santander 73), Antonsson (not used), Greguš (replaced Kvist 59), Remmer (not used), Toutouh (replaced Kusk 76), Amankwaa (not used)

Tags:  Crusaders