WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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THE New Saints face an impossible task in the first qualifying round of the Champions League after being outclassed by Shkendija in the first leg.

TNS trailed 2-0 at the interval in Macedonia through goals from Izair Emini and Besart Ibraimi, who went on to add a second-half hat-trick, the first to be scored in the Champions League this season.

It came as no surprise that the hosts went ahead on 14 minutes when a well worked move down the left flank was deflected into the path of Emini, who netted from close range and Ibraimi's effort from outside the box doubled their lead seven minutes before the break.

Ryan Brobbel had Saints' best chance of the game in the opening minute of the second half with his effort deflected wide, but two further goals put Shkendija firmly in control of the game and the tie.

Ibraimi's low drive from 30 yards beat Paul Harrison to make it 3-0 before the Macedonian international completed his hat-trick with a stunning free-kick.

Harrison had no chance with Ibraimi's fourth five minutes later, with the striker beating Harrison with a curling shot from the edge of the box to complete a comprehensive win for Shkendija.