THE CYNICS SAID it would never happen, but after a long wait, an Irish team will be competing in the Champions League proper after all.
Dublin side Peamount United have become the first-ever Irish team to reach the last 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, having emerged from the qualifying phase last night.
The team beat Estonian side Pärnu 5-1 to advance to the knockout stage, having already beaten Slovenia’s Krka 7-0 in the qualifying phase, in addition to losing 1-0 to Rayo Vallecano.
The club secured one of two best runner-up spots with a goal from Rachel Jenkins, as well as two goals each courtesy of Sara Lawlor and Stephanie Roche.
Peamount advanced with a goal difference of +3, even after goals from their 7-0 victory over Krka were discounted for qualification purposes.
The draw for the last-32 will be made next week, while the tie is due to take place in October and will be played over two legs.
Potential opponents include some of the best sides in Europe such as Arsenal, Lyon and Frankfurt.