The two players of Nigerian descent produced some of their best football, but it proved insufficient to help their Danish side stun the Turkish giants away from home
Tosin Kehinde and Marvin Egho were impressive for Randers, but Galatasaray secured a come-from-behind 2-1 win on the night (and 3-2 on aggregate) to progress to the group stages of the Europa League.
Kehinde played the last 25 minutes of last week’s first leg 1-1 draw at the Cepheus Park Randers, impressing with his direct runs forward, and was rewarded with a start against the same opponents on Thursday evening.
And it didn’t take long for the Manchester United academy product to display his quality for the supporters in the stands inside the magnificent Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium in Istanbul.
Galatasaray had bossed much of the proceedings in the early stages of the encounter, with Fatih Terim’s men scooping more than 80 per cent of the ball possession.
But in the 11th minute, Kehinde confidently brought the ball forward, skipping a couple of challenges before sending a peach of a cross into the danger area, leaving Egho with the straightforward task of heading the ball into the net for the game’s opening goal.
Moments later, Kehinde was close to extending Randers’ lead, but his goal-bound shot was blocked. And despite his side seeing far less of the ball, the 23-year-old continued to torment the home side with his quick feet.
The Super Eagles hopeful nearly got free to cause another havoc in the 25th minute, showing excellent skills to dribble past his opponents, but Galatasaray’s Christian Luyindama did well to stop him before he could get into the danger area.
Galatasaray had their chances, most notably when Mbaye Diagne hit the crossbar when presented with a 1-1 with the keeper, but the Yellow-Reds went into the break with a goal deficit.
Shortly after the restart, though, Galatasaray were back in the tie as fullback Patrick van Aanholt equalised for the Lions.
It quickly got worse for the Danish side as midfielder Frederik Lauenborg put the ball through his own net on the hour-mark to push Galatasaray ahead on aggregate.
Sierra Leone forward Alhaji Kamara replaced Egho in the 70th minute, and Kehinde also made way late on.
But the visitors could not muster a second goal that would have dragged the game into extra time and possibly penalties, as Randers crashed out of Europe’s second-tier club competition.