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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 20 February, 2018
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'This is for everyone that plays in the league. We're not just a laughing stock, we can compete'

A famous night for Dundalk, a famous night for Irish football.

McMillan heads Dundalk into the lead.
McMillan heads Dundalk into the lead.
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

DUNDALK CAPTAIN STEPHEN O’Donnell has dedicated his side’s famous win over BATE Borisov to every player in the League of Ireland.

Stephen Kenny’s side sealed one of the biggest results in Irish football history as they dispatched BATE with disdain at Tallaght Stadium.

David McMillan’s headed double and Robbie Benson’s late goal saw the SSE Airtricity League champions record a 3-1 aggregate win to advance to the playoff round.

The Lilywhites are now just two games away from the Champions League group stages — and O’Donnell believes it was a night which showcased the very best of Irish domestic football.

“Everyone believed we could do it,” he told eir Sport.

“We knew if we could get after them, we didn’t play well at all last night, the worst we could have played and we came away with a 1-0 which was crucial. Played more to our ability tonight and I think we deserved to win 3-0.

“This is the best ever, backs against the wall, Champions League opposition. Last year playing against Barcelona and Leverkusen and to beat them 3-0 at home. Unbelievable.

“There’s some decent players playing in this league and this is for everyone that plays in the league, not just Dundalk, we’re not just a laughing stock, we can compete and you saw with the likes of Daryl Horgan and Patrick McEleney tonight, they’d grace any stage and you’re telling me they’re not better than some of the players that are supposedly playing at a higher level.”

Asked if tonight’s result was the highlight of his career, the midfielder added: “This is the best of my career, of all the lads’ careers. As I said nobody gave us a chance to win 3-0, to keep the clean sheet, an unbelievable achievement and hopefully this is the start of our adventures.”

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LIVE: Dundalk v BATE Borisov, Champions League third qualifying round second leg

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Ryan Bailey

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