Ethan Horvath makes a save for Molde in a Champions League qualifier
Courtesy of Molde FK

American Exports: Ethan Horvath, Molde eliminated from Champions League after first-half collapse

AMSTERDAM – Ethan Horvath and Molde FK were relegated to the Europa League following a wild 3-3 draw that saw them dumped on away goals by Champions League third qualifying round visitors Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night.

The first half was a disaster for the home side, who entered the second leg even from a solid 1-1 result in Croatia last week. After Ola Kamara missed high on an eighth-minute penalty that could have put Molde in the driver's seat, a terrible back pass intended for Horvath was instead intercepted and deposited past the hard-luck 'keeper just beyond the quarter-hour mark.

Another poor display by the backline allowed Dinamo to double their aggregate lead four minutes later. A breakdown led to Horvath denying Chile striker Angelo Henriquez, but the rebound pinballed around for Marko Pjaca to capitalize. The damage was not done yet, and on 22 minutes, a Horvath stop on the criminally unmarked Henriquez went to waste when Marko Rog was allowed to pot the rebound.

Horvath then added five saves after the break to help the Norwegian champs stage a comeback, including robberies of Pjaca and Domagoj Antolic midway through the frame. Shortly after Kamara leveled the scoreboard on the evening, the Colorado native kept Molde in with a chance to advance by making perhaps his best stop of the game in the 80th minute. He coolly handled a deflected Antolic drive before hopping up to smother the rebound himself.

However, Molde were unable to conjure a late winner and will now go into the unseeded half of Friday's Europa League playoff round draw.