Dundalk FC one game from Europa League group stages after shooting down Sheriff
Dundalk FC are one match away from the Europa League group stages after a stunning penalty shoot out victory over Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova last night.
The game finished 1-1 after extra-time but Filippo Giovagnoli’s side won the shoot-out 5-3 to set up an Aviva Stadium showdown with Klaksvik from the Faroe Islands next Thursday for what could be a €3 million pay day and a repeat of the 2016 feat achieved under current Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.
Dundalk made the worst possible start when they fell behind after just eight minutes when Sheriff captain Veaceslav Posmac headed past Gary Rogers.
The visitors were the better side after that and deservedly equalised on the stroke of half-time when Sean Murray raced onto Michael Duffy’s cross to make it 1-1.
There were few clear cut chances after that although Greg Sloggett did have what looked to be a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper in the build up by Patrick Hoban.
In the shoot-out, Stefan Colovic, Patrick Hoban, Sean Hoare and Patrick McEleney all found the net with Gary Rogers saving the second kick for Sheriff from Faith Obilor. That allowed captain Chris Shields to step up to slot home the winning penalty for his side to scenes of mass celebration.
Thursday’s play-off will take place at the Aviva Stadium at 7.30pm but unfortunately no fans will be permitted due to UEFA regulations. Dundalk are in action again on Sunday when they welcome league leaders Shamrock Rovers to Oriel Park. That game gets underway at 7.30pm and is live on RTÉ Two.
Sheriff Tiraspol: Zvonimir Mikulić; Ousmane N’Diaye, Faith Obilor, Veaceslav Posmac, Cristiano; Andrei Peteleu (Charles Petro 64), Benedik Mioč (Max Veloso 99), William Parra; Andriy Bliznichenko (Rifet Kapić HT), Frank Castañeda, Dimitris Kolovos (Dabney Dos Santos 88). Subs not used: Dumitru Celeadnic, Sebastian Dahlström, Richard Gadze.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Darragh Leahy; Chris Shields, Greg Sloggett; Sean Gannon (John Mountney 13) (Daniel Kelly 88), Sean Murray (Patrick McEleney 72), Michael Duffy (Stefan Colovic 102); Patrick Hoban. Subs not used: Aaron McCarey, Will Patching, David McMillan.
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (Macedonia).