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Bittersweet night for Dundalk star as he equals Glen Crowe's European record

David McMilllan’s brace against Rapid Vienna means he now has 11 in total.

Dundalk players celebrate with goalscorer David McMillan.
Dundalk players celebrate with goalscorer David McMillan.
Image: GEPA Pictures/Christian Ort/INPHO

A BRACE OF penalties tonight saw David McMillan equal the record for goals scored in Europe by a League of Ireland player.

The 31-year-old striker is now level with Shelbourne legend Glen Crowe on 11, and with three games remaining for Dundalk in the group stages, the Dubliner will likely have more opportunities to break the record.

Nevertheless, McMillan was in no mood to celebrate after seeing his side slip to an agonising 4-3 defeat away to Rapid Vienna, which means they remain without a single point after three Europa League group games.

“It’s probably something I’ll look back on in future, but obviously it’s just really disappointing with the result tonight,” he told reporters afterwards.

It’s hard to look past that right now, particularly when we were so in the game. To equalise late on and I’d even forgotten about Greg Sloggett’s chance to put us 3-2 up, so to go 4-2 behind was so disappointing.

“We competed so well. We played very well and it gives us hope going forward to the last three games in the group. It’s given belief amongst the squad that we can achieve something in the group.”

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Dundalk are currently having to balance their Europa League commitments with the League of Ireland’s end-of-season run-in, as they fight to finish high up enough in the table to retain their European place for next season.

McMillan admits this hectic schedule is taking its toll on the players, with Dundalk making six changes from their match with Arsenal ahead of the Vienna encounter, partially as a result of the intensity of the run-in.

“I think it is tough to balance,” he said. “Particularly where we have been in the league. We probably haven’t got the results we feel we should be getting.

We’ve got to make sure we’re in this position next year where we have the opportunity to play in Europe. So that is probably everybody’s main focus. We wanted to try to achieve that in the past couple of weeks and we haven’t. So we’ll leave that to do on Monday [against Sligo] and I’m sure we will do it.

“It’s a difficult balance, because these games probably take a little bit more out of you. You’re coming away here and you’re probably covering more distance, more running, much higher tempo.

“So they take a lot out of players. But it’s also a great experience for us to come here and play. Unfortunately, the stadiums are obviously empty at the moment. But to play in such a brilliant stadium is a rare enough thing for us. So it’s motivation for us to make sure that we do the job in the league and we continue to be able to compete in Europe every year.”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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