FC Copenhagen 1 TNS 0

(Copenhagen win 3-0 on aggregate)

THE UEFA Champions League dream is over for another year after TNS slipped to a 1-0 defeat in the Danish capital on Wednesday night.

The Welsh champions, seeking to overturn a two goal first leg deficit, denied the Danes in the first-half only for Carlos Zeca's wonder strike to seal Copenhagen's progress after the break.

A lively opening from the Saints saw the Oswestry side take the game to their illustrious hosts early on without testing goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson.

In a half of few clear openings a dangerous corner from Danny Redmond evaded a packed goalmouth in the Saints' best chance.

Copenhagen were galvanised and the Saints were indebted to goalkeeper Paul Harrison for producing a superb save with Pieros Sotiriou clean through on goal.

However the Saints ended the half on top and almost led on the stroke of the break with Adrian Cieslewicz feeding Ryan Brobbel who fired just over the bar.

Copenhagen sealed their progress seven minutes into the second-half with Greek international Zeca blasting an unstoppable 20 yard shot into the top corner with Harrison rooted.

The breakthrough saw the Danes rally with Nicolaj Thomsen forcing Harrrison into action before Mohamed Daramy was denied by a last ditch tackle from Jon Routledge.

With their progress secured the Danish champions sat back and saw out the remainder of the game but could have added a second at the death only for Thomsen to be denied once again by Harrison as TNS' Champions League dreams ended.

The Welsh champions now drop into the Europa League and will now travel to either Icelanders Valur or Ludogorets of Bulgaria in the the first leg of their third qualifying round clash on Thursday.

Manager Scott Ruscoe remained upbeat in defeat, saying: "We've had one or two areas of good play, but I think our overall excellent possession was in the middle third of the pitch.

"We have troubled them at times but we didn't have enough legs or the punch to make a dent in them.

"We need to be better, we need to grow from it, we need to learn. We have to be fitter and stronger again, but getting fitter and stronger players costs money.

"They are 78 times our budget for a reason, in those terms we punch above our weight. I'm proud of my players and we go again and see if we can get through to the next round of the Europa League."

TNS: Harrison, Marriott (Hudson 78), Redmond, Brobbel, Spender, Routledge, Cieslewicz (Lewis 59), Mullan, Harrington, Edwards, Ebbe (Draper 66). Subs: Nembhard, Byrne, Roberts, Whitehouse